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Prevalence of Diarrhea Among Children Less Than 36 Months of Age in Rural Western China in 2001 and 2005

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  • Institute of Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Health Science Center, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China; Institute of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, Gansu, China

We collected for rural western China data for 14,658 children less than 36 months of age in 2001 and for 14,112 children in 2005. A generalized estimated equation log-binomial model was used to identify the determinants of childhood diarrhea. In 2005, prevalence of diarrhea was approximately 7.4%, which compared with that for 2001, had decreased by 8.7%. The generalized estimated equation analysis showed that region affected the prevalence of childhood diarrhea significantly. Age was negatively associated with childhood diarrhea. Although childhood upper respiratory infections increased the risk of diarrhea, the risk could be decreased by use of vitamin A in the previous year. In addition, children of Han ethnicity or those living in one-child families had a lower risk of diarrhea in 2001, but underweight children had a higher risk in 2005. These findings may have some implications for formulating policies of childhood diarrhea prevention and control in rural western China.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Hong Yan, PO Box 46, Institute of Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Health Science Center, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi 710061, China. E-mail: xjtu_yh.paper@aliyun.com

Financial support: The study was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. 81230061).

Authors' addresses: Wenlong Gao, Institute of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, Gansu, People's Republic of China, E-mail: gaowl@lzu.edu.cn. Xiaoning Liu, Institute of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, Gansu, China, E-mail: liuxn@lzu.edu.cn. Hong Yan, Institute of Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Health Science Center, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China, E-mail: xjtu_yh.paper@aliyun.com.

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