Quality of the environment and associated factors: a pediatric study in Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

This study aims to describe and identify factors associated with environmental quality and characteristics of children exposed to environmental risk factors in Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. This was a prospective, population-based study, including 630 children from the 1993 birth cohort. During the year 1998, environmental quality and other information were assessed using the Home Observation for the Measurement of the Environment. Data were submitted to univariate analysis. The association between the variables and the outcome was evaluated through prevalence ratios, 95% confidence intervals, and chi-square. Logistic regression was performed according to a hierarchical model. Some 97 children (15%) were living in negative environments. Eight risk factors were associated with environmental quality: low monthly family income, low maternal schooling, male gender, households with more than 7 members, 4 or more siblings, tobacco use during gestation, children sleeping in their parents' bed at age 4 years, and mothers with psychiatric disorders.

Environmental Quality; Risk Factors; Child Development; Educational Status

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