Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989
ASTUDILLO, Pedro; MANCILLA, Pedro; OLMOS, Claudio and REYES, Álvaro. Epidemiology of pediatric respiratory consultations in Santiago de Chile, from 1993 to 2009. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2012, vol.32, n.1, pp.56-61. ISSN 1680-5348. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892012000700009.
OBJECTIVE: This paper describes the analytical methodology and overall distribution of these consultations-particularly respiratory consultations-for children under 15 years of age in Santiago de Chile, Chile. The aim is to understand differences by age groups, as well as seasonal trends and trends over the years. METHODS: The research covered the distribution of consultations and their evolution over a period of 17 years. Information was collected on a daily basis from all pediatric consultations, grouped into nonrespiratory and acute respiratory categories, in seven sentinel centers of Santiago de Chile. RESULTS: Between January 1993 and December 2009, 1 947 477 cases of pediatric illnesses were recorded, of which 1 188 029 (61.0%) were for respiratory causes. Of those, 656 567 (33.7%) were for acute lower respiratory tract illnesses, 418 932 (21.5%) were for broncho-obstructive syndrome, and 48 669 (2.5%) were for pneumonia. Pneumonia and broncho-obstructive syndrome were more frequent in children under age 5. Lower respiratory tract illnesses, broncho-obstructive syndrome, and pneumonia showed a significant downward trend during the period observed. Lower respiratory tract illnesses are the leading cause of pediatric morbidity in primary health care, while broncho-obstructive syndrome is the leading specific reason for pediatric consultations. CONCLUSIONS: These results point to the need to allocate or reallocate resources for programs for promotion, education, prevention, and treatment of these illnesses with the targeting necessary to address seasonal variations.
Keywords : Respiratory tract infections; epidemiological surveillance; pediatrics; child health (public health); Chile.