Hospitalization rates of children with gastroenteritis in Ontario

Can J Public Health. Jan-Feb 1996;87(1):62-5.


Purpose: To calculate hospitalization rates of gastroenteritis among children in Ontario and to determine the association of hospitalization of gastroenteritis with sociodemographic indicators and the availability of hospital beds.

Methods: Ontario admission rates were calculated from hospital discharge data for fiscal year 1991/92. Small area variations, correlations between sociodemographic indicators and admission rates were studied.

Results: The age- and sex-adjusted admission rate in 1991/92 was 411.1/100,000 with a 14-fold variation in Ontario. The availability of paediatric beds was the only significant factor associated with high admission rates, with an estimated relative risk of 6.75 (95% confidence interval: 1.26, 36.09, p < 0.027).

Conclusion: Since most children with gastroenteritis can be successfully managed as outpatients, high admission rates may be an indication of unnecessary hospitalization.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Gastroenteritis / epidemiology*
  • Health Services Misuse / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospital Bed Capacity / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Ontario / epidemiology
  • Patient Admission / statistics & numerical data*
  • Socioeconomic Factors