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Impact of the 2008 Economic and Financial Crisis on Child Health: A Systematic Review

Agència de Qualitat i Avaluació Sanitàries (AQuAS), Barcelona 08005, Spain
Fundació Institut Mar d'Investigacions Mèdiques (IMIM), Barcelona 08003, Spain
CIBER de Epidemiología y Salud Pública, Madrid 28029, Spain
General Practitioner, Homer 22, Barcelona 08023, Spain
Academic Division of Child Health, The Medical School, University of Nottingham, Derbyshire Children's Hospital, Uttoxeter Road, Derby DE22 3DT, UK
Division of Community Medicine, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Linköping University, Linköping S-581 85, Sweden
Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm University, Stockholm 106 91, Sweden
Department of Pediatrics,University of Alberta, University Ave., Edmonton, AB 11402, Canada
School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol, Bristol BS8 1TZ, UK
Department of Public Health, The Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam, Dr. Molewaterplein 50, P.O. Box 2040, 3000 CA Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Université de Montréal, C.P. 6128, Succursale Centre-ville, Montréal (Québec), QC H3C 3J7, Canada
Division of Mental Health and Wellbeing, Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK
Department of Public Health and Policy, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 3GB, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(6), 6528-6546;
Received: 18 April 2014 / Revised: 9 June 2014 / Accepted: 10 June 2014 / Published: 23 June 2014
The aim of this study was to provide an overview of studies in which the impact of the 2008 economic crisis on child health was reported. Structured searches of PubMed, and ISI Web of Knowledge, were conducted. Quantitative and qualitative studies reporting health outcomes on children, published since 2007 and related to the 2008 economic crisis were included. Two reviewers independently assessed studies for inclusion. Data were synthesised as a narrative review. Five hundred and six titles and abstracts were reviewed, from which 22 studies were included. The risk of bias for quantitative studies was mixed while qualitative studies showed low risk of bias. An excess of 28,000–50,000 infant deaths in 2009 was estimated in sub-Saharan African countries, and increased infant mortality in Greece was reported. Increased price of foods was related to worsening nutrition habits in disadvantaged families worldwide. An increase in violence against children was reported in the U.S., and inequalities in health-related quality of life appeared in some countries. Most studies suggest that the economic crisis has harmed children’s health, and disproportionately affected the most vulnerable groups. There is an urgent need for further studies to monitor the child health effects of the global recession and to inform appropriate public policy responses. View Full-Text
Keywords: adolescent; child health; economic and financial crisis; inequalities adolescent; child health; economic and financial crisis; inequalities
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Rajmil, L.; De Sanmamed, M.-J.F.; Choonara, I.; Faresjö, T.; Hjern, A.; Kozyrskyj, A.L.; Lucas, P.J.; Raat, H.; Séguin, L.; Spencer, N.; Taylor-Robinson, D.; On Behalf of the International Network for Research in Inequalities in Child Health (INRICH). Impact of the 2008 Economic and Financial Crisis on Child Health: A Systematic Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 6528-6546.

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