Neighborhood socioeconomic status and influenza hospitalizations among children: New Haven County, Connecticut, 2003-2010

Am J Public Health. 2011 Sep;101(9):1785-9. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2011.300224. Epub 2011 Jul 21.


Objectives: We examined surveillance data for disparities in pediatric influenza-associated hospitalizations according to neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES) measures in New Haven County, Connecticut.

Methods: We geocoded influenza-associated hospitalization case data from the past 7 years for children from birth to age 17 years and linked these to US Census 2000 tract-level SES data. Following the methods of Harvard's Public Health Disparities Geocoding Project, we examined neighborhood SES variables, including measures of poverty and crowding. We calculated influenza-associated hospitalization incidence by influenza season and individual case characteristics, stratified by SES measures.

Results: Overall, the mean annual incidence of pediatric influenza-associated hospitalization in high-poverty and high-crowding census tracts was at least 3 times greater than that in low-poverty and low-crowding tracts. This disparity could not be fully explained by prevalence of underlying conditions or receipt of influenza vaccination.

Conclusions: Linkage of geocoded surveillance data and census information allows for ongoing monitoring of SES correlates of health and may help target interventions. Our analysis indicates a correlation between residence in impoverished or crowded neighborhoods and incidence of influenza-associated hospitalization among children in Connecticut.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Connecticut / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Health Status Disparities
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Influenza, Human / epidemiology*
  • Influenza, Human / ethnology
  • Male
  • Residence Characteristics*
  • Sentinel Surveillance
  • Sex Distribution
  • Socioeconomic Factors