Changes in infectious disease mortality among children in the Netherlands

Eur J Pediatr. 2009 Apr;168(4):465-8. doi: 10.1007/s00431-008-0772-4. Epub 2008 Jun 26.


In this study we examine the changes in mortality due to infectious diseases in childhood over recent decades. We analysed mortality data among children due to infectious diseases from 1969 until 2006. This study shows a steep decline of infectious disease mortality in the 1970s, followed by a relative stabilisation thereafter. This was caused by an isolated decline in infectious disease mortality in children younger than 5 years. In children over 5 years of age the infectious disease mortality remained stable during the entire study period. Analysis of mortality data of our paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) shows an increasing trend in mortality due to infections in children with underlying illnesses. Infections in childhood have remained a stable burden of mortality over recent decades.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Communicable Diseases / mortality*
  • Hospital Mortality / trends
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intensive Care Units, Pediatric / statistics & numerical data
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Young Adult