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Epidemiological studies of sociodemographic factors, early life factors, health, and medical care consumption among small children

Mangrio, Elisabeth LU (2011) In Lund University, Faculty of Medicine Doctoral Dissertation Series 2011:102.
Abstract
By international standards, children in Sweden experience good health. Sweden has low infant

mortality rates, low accident mortality rates, a high number of breastfed children and a high

proportion of vaccinated children. However, during the past twenty years the prevalence of

overweight children has doubled in Sweden, while that of obese children has increased 4-5 times.

Furthermore, there has been an increase in self-reported problems such as anxiety and sleeping

disturbances among adolescents. Asthma and other types of allergic diseases are the most

common chronic diseases during childhood, while infectious diseases are the most common

causes of short-term morbidity. It is... (More)
By international standards, children in Sweden experience good health. Sweden has low infant

mortality rates, low accident mortality rates, a high number of breastfed children and a high

proportion of vaccinated children. However, during the past twenty years the prevalence of

overweight children has doubled in Sweden, while that of obese children has increased 4-5 times.

Furthermore, there has been an increase in self-reported problems such as anxiety and sleeping

disturbances among adolescents. Asthma and other types of allergic diseases are the most

common chronic diseases during childhood, while infectious diseases are the most common

causes of short-term morbidity. It is well-known that the social position of the family, living

conditions, and parental health-related behaviors are closely connected with health in childhood.

The socioeconomic position (SEP) of the family affects the child’s health from the very beginning

of life through the mother’s health-related behaviors during pregnancy. Even though the

prevailing etiological model for adult chronic disease emphasizes adult risk factors, the

importance of earlier life circumstances has recently attracted considerable attention. A life course

perspective seems to increase our understanding of health in childhood as well as later on, in

adulthood. In this thesis, the associations between sociodemographic factors and early life factors

(e.g., maternal smoking during pregnancy, exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke, breastfeeding,

and high birth weight) on the one hand and health and medical care consumption on the other

hand, were investigated among small children in Malmö. The studies in the thesis were

population-based and cross-sectional, and the study populations comprised children who visited

the Child health care (CHC) centers for their 8-month or 4-year check-up during 2003-2008 and

whose parents answered a self-administered questionnaire. The self-administered questionnaire

was handed out to the parents of 8-month-old and 4-year-old children in conjunction with their

check-up at the CHC centers aiming to reach all children in Malmö in these two age groups. The

questionnaire was distributed by the pediatric nurses at the centers. The results showed that

antibiotic consumption at an early age was influenced by several factors including parental

sociodemographic factors, lifestyle factors, psychosocial support, as well as child-related factors.

The results further showed associations between exposure to unfavorable early life factors and the

development of childhood allergy and overweight or obesity. Such effects were enhanced when

there were presence of parental allergy or parental overweight, respectively. Children with less educated

mothers were exposed to more health risks, fewer health promoting factors, worse social

support and had a higher medical care consumption than children with mothers with higher levels

of education.In conclusion, the results show that children’s health seems to be highly

influenced by the characteristics of the families into which they are born. The results also put

focus on the importance of early targeted interventions. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Professor Janlert, Urban, Epidemiologi och Global Hälsa, Umeå Universitet, Umeå
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
medical care, early life factors, health related behaviors, social support, socioeconomic status, children, Epidemiology
in
Lund University, Faculty of Medicine Doctoral Dissertation Series
volume
2011:102
pages
126 pages
publisher
Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University
defense location
Lilla Aulan, Ingång 59, Skånes Universitetssjukhus, Malmö
defense date
2011-12-09 09:00
ISSN
1652-8220
ISBN
978-91-86871-52-9
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
7cac5c25-6ff2-4206-b1f6-500fa6d308da (old id 2204402)
date added to LUP
2011-11-16 09:59:06
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:44:47
@phdthesis{7cac5c25-6ff2-4206-b1f6-500fa6d308da,
  abstract     = {By international standards, children in Sweden experience good health. Sweden has low infant<br/><br>
mortality rates, low accident mortality rates, a high number of breastfed children and a high<br/><br>
proportion of vaccinated children. However, during the past twenty years the prevalence of<br/><br>
overweight children has doubled in Sweden, while that of obese children has increased 4-5 times.<br/><br>
Furthermore, there has been an increase in self-reported problems such as anxiety and sleeping<br/><br>
disturbances among adolescents. Asthma and other types of allergic diseases are the most<br/><br>
common chronic diseases during childhood, while infectious diseases are the most common<br/><br>
causes of short-term morbidity. It is well-known that the social position of the family, living<br/><br>
conditions, and parental health-related behaviors are closely connected with health in childhood.<br/><br>
The socioeconomic position (SEP) of the family affects the child’s health from the very beginning<br/><br>
of life through the mother’s health-related behaviors during pregnancy. Even though the<br/><br>
prevailing etiological model for adult chronic disease emphasizes adult risk factors, the<br/><br>
importance of earlier life circumstances has recently attracted considerable attention. A life course<br/><br>
perspective seems to increase our understanding of health in childhood as well as later on, in<br/><br>
adulthood. In this thesis, the associations between sociodemographic factors and early life factors<br/><br>
(e.g., maternal smoking during pregnancy, exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke, breastfeeding,<br/><br>
and high birth weight) on the one hand and health and medical care consumption on the other<br/><br>
hand, were investigated among small children in Malmö. The studies in the thesis were<br/><br>
population-based and cross-sectional, and the study populations comprised children who visited<br/><br>
the Child health care (CHC) centers for their 8-month or 4-year check-up during 2003-2008 and<br/><br>
whose parents answered a self-administered questionnaire. The self-administered questionnaire<br/><br>
was handed out to the parents of 8-month-old and 4-year-old children in conjunction with their<br/><br>
check-up at the CHC centers aiming to reach all children in Malmö in these two age groups. The<br/><br>
questionnaire was distributed by the pediatric nurses at the centers. The results showed that<br/><br>
antibiotic consumption at an early age was influenced by several factors including parental<br/><br>
sociodemographic factors, lifestyle factors, psychosocial support, as well as child-related factors.<br/><br>
The results further showed associations between exposure to unfavorable early life factors and the<br/><br>
development of childhood allergy and overweight or obesity. Such effects were enhanced when<br/><br>
there were presence of parental allergy or parental overweight, respectively. Children with less educated<br/><br>
mothers were exposed to more health risks, fewer health promoting factors, worse social<br/><br>
support and had a higher medical care consumption than children with mothers with higher levels<br/><br>
of education.In conclusion, the results show that children’s health seems to be highly<br/><br>
influenced by the characteristics of the families into which they are born. The results also put<br/><br>
focus on the importance of early targeted interventions.},
  author       = {Mangrio, Elisabeth},
  isbn         = {978-91-86871-52-9},
  issn         = {1652-8220},
  keyword      = {medical care,early life factors,health related behaviors,social support,socioeconomic status,children,Epidemiology},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {126},
  publisher    = {Department of Clinical Sciences, Lund University},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Lund University, Faculty of Medicine Doctoral Dissertation Series},
  title        = {Epidemiological studies of sociodemographic factors, early life factors, health, and medical care consumption among small children},
  volume       = {2011:102},
  year         = {2011},
}