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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(7), 704; doi:10.3390/ijerph13070704

Temporal and Spatial Trends in Childhood Asthma-Related Hospitalizations in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil and Their Association with Social Vulnerability

1
Department Physiotherapy, Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais (PUC Minas), Belo Horizonte 30535610, Brazil
2
Belo Horizonte Observatory for Urban Health (OSUBH), School of Medicine, Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte 30130100, Brazil
3
Institute of Exact Sciences, Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte 31270901, Brazil
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Nelson Gouveia
Received: 16 March 2016 / Revised: 23 June 2016 / Accepted: 1 July 2016 / Published: 12 July 2016
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Abstract

Introduction: Asthma is a multifactorial disease and a serious public health problem. Environmental factors and poverty are the main determinants of this disease. Objective: To describe the spatial and temporal distribution of asthma-related hospitalizations and identify the areas with the highest prevalence of and vulnerability to severe asthma in a major Brazilian city. Methods: An ecological study of hospitalizations for asthma from 2002 to 2012, in children and adolescents under 15 years of age, living in Belo Horizonte, Southeast Brazil. All events were geocoded by residence address using Hospital Information System data. The socioeconomic vulnerability of residence address was ranked using the Health Vulnerability Index. Raster surfaces were generated and time-series plots were constructed to determine spatial and time trends in the frequency of asthma-related hospitalizations, respectively. Results: Asthma-related hospitalization rates were highest in children aged 0–4 years and in boys. There was a decreasing trend in the number of asthma-related hospitalizations across the study period. Approximately 48% of all hospitalizations were children living in health vulnerable areas. Seasonal trends showed a hospitalization peak in March, April, and May, coinciding with the post-rainy period. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that social and environmental factors may be determinants of disparities in severe asthma. View Full-Text
Keywords: hospitalization for asthma; ecological study; vulnerability; children and adolescents hospitalization for asthma; ecological study; vulnerability; children and adolescents
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Dias, C.S.; Dias, M.A.S.; Friche, A.A.L.; Almeida, M.C.M.; Viana, T.C.; Mingoti, S.A.; Caiaffa, W.T. Temporal and Spatial Trends in Childhood Asthma-Related Hospitalizations in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil and Their Association with Social Vulnerability. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 704.

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