Association between household conditions and diarrheal diseases among children in Turkey: A cohort study

Bozkurt A. İ., Özgür S., Özçirpici B.

Pediatrics International, vol.45, no.4, pp.443-451, 2003 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 45 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2003
  • Doi Number: 10.1046/j.1442-200x.2003.01745.x
  • Journal Name: Pediatrics International
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.443-451
  • Keywords: Cohort study, Diarrhea, Frequency, Household conditions
  • Akdeniz University Affiliated: Yes


Background: This aim of the present study was to estimate the frequency of diarrheal diseases among children as well as investigating the relationship between diarrheal diseases and household conditions and other factors. Methods: The study was performed over 12 month period in Binevler Health Center, Gaziantep, Turkey. Five health stations were selected by using a sampling technique with probability proportional to size, and all households with children under the age of 5 years were visited. A questionnaire on diarrhea, household conditions, socioeconomic status of the family and individual characteristics of the children was applied to the mothers by doctors. Three composite indices, including household conditions, socioeconomic status of the family and individual status of the children, were prepared and a classification was made as good, mild or poor in order to better evaluate the results of the study. Daily recordings of diarrheal disease symptoms were made by the parents and these records were collected every month for 1 year. Results: The annual mean incidence of diarrheal diseases was found to be 1.09 per child per year (median = 1). The mean was higher in children with poor household conditions (1.48 ± 0.12) and with poor individual status (1.48 ± 0.14), compared with good household conditions (0.76 ± 0.07) and good individual status (0.71 ± 0.08). The mean was also higher in children aged between 6 and 11 months (1.51 ± 0.18), whose father graduated from primary school or lower (1.34 ± 0.09) and with parents having no habit of washing their hands before taking care of the child (2.00 ± 0.33). Person-month and case-month incidence rates of diarrhea were calculated to be 8.56 and 9.12%, respectively. Conclusions: Household conditions, individual status, age, education level of fathers and parents' habit of washing hands before taking care of the child were major factors affecting the incidence of diarrhea.