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Descriptive Epidemiology of Mortality and Morbidity of Health-Indicator Diseases in Hospitalized Children from Western Jamaica

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  • 1 Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth, Lebanon, New Hampshire; Department of Paediatrics, Cornwall Regional Hospital, Montego Bay, Jamaica
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The objectives of our study were to describe the epidemiology of child-health indicator diseases in western Jamaica, examine differences in indicator diseases between sex and age, and generate hypotheses about causes of disease burden. International Classification of Disease, 10th Revision, coded discharge diagnoses were collected from consecutive admissions for 2003–2005 from a public tertiary care hospital. Mortality data were not coded. Perinatal disease was the most common cause of mortality, with hyaline membrane disease the primary cause. Younger children, particularly males, are disproportionately affected by all indicator diseases (P < 0.001) and more likely to die from acute respiratory tract infections and infectious diseases (P < 0.05). Sickle cell disease was the fourth most common diagnosis. Children in western Jamaica are most affected by diseases of prematurity. These children experience disease burden similar to that of children in other developing countries, but fewer neonatal sepsis and insect-borne infections, and more hematologic illness.

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