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Hillis, Susan; Miranda, Clarybel; McCann, Margaret F.; Bender, Deborah E.; & Weigle, Kristen A. (1992). Day Care Center Attendance and Diarrheal Morbidity in Colombia. Pediatrics, 90(4), 582-588.


This study was designed to determine whether day care center attendance was associated with increased risk of diarrheal disease among poor children in an urban, developing country setting. From July 17 to December 18, 1988, mothers of 493 Colombian children less than 5 years old (241 attendees and 252 nonattendees) were interviewed weekly about diarrheal events during the previous week. The incidence of diarrhea was greater for day care center attendees than for nonattendees (3.2 vs 2.0 episodes per child-year, P < .0005). For children less than 2 years of age, attendees experienced 7.2 episodes/child-year vs 3.5 episodes per child-year for nonattendees (P < .0005). Analyses controlling for water source and availability, excreta disposal, socioeconomic status, and duration of follow-up showed that the increased diarrheal risk was limited to children younger than 3 years of age spending more than 30 hours per week in the centers. In addition, although the risk among attendees of suffering diarrheal episodes of longer duration was fairly constant across levels of socioeconomic status, this risk was inversely proportional to socioeconomic status for nonattendees. In summary, the increase in risk of diarrhea among young, full-time day care attendees was modest, yet important, because diarrhea continues to be a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Colombian children.


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Journal Article

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Hillis, Susan
Miranda, Clarybel
McCann, Margaret F.
Bender, Deborah E.
Weigle, Kristen A.