Revista de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0034-8910
BARROS, Henrique and LUNET, Nuno. Association between child-care and acute diarrhea: a study in Portuguese children. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2003, vol.37, n.5, pp. 603-608. ISSN 0034-8910. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102003000500009.
OBJECTIVE: To quantify the influence of the type of child-care on the occurrence of acute diarrhea with special emphasis on the effect of children grouping during care. METHODS: From October 1998 to January 1999 292 children, aged 24 to 36 months, recruited using a previously assembled cohort of newborns, were evaluated. Information on the type of care and occurrence of diarrhea in the previous year was obtained from parents by telephone interview. The X² and Kruskal-Wallis tests were used to compare proportions and quantitative variables, respectively. The risk of diarrhea was estimated through the calculation of incident odds ratios (OR) and their respective 95% confidence intervals (95% CI), crude and adjusted by unconditional logistic regression. RESULTS: Using as reference category children cared individually at home, the adjusted ORs for diarrhea occurrence were 3.18, 95% CI [1.49, 6.77] for children cared in group at home, 2.28, 95% CI [0.92, 5.67] for children cared in group in day-care homes and 2.54, 95% CI [1.21, 5.33] for children cared in day-care centers. Children that changed from any other type of child-care setting to child-care centers in the year preceding the study showed a risk even higher (OR 7.65, 95% CI [3.25, 18.02]). CONCLUSIONS: Group care increases the risk of acute diarrhea whatsoever the specific setting.
Keywords : Diarrhea; Child-care; Acute disease; Risk factors; Child day care centers.