Case study 12: Children's health

The researchers wanted to know if children who had been born pre-term or who had a severe medical condition at birth had ongoing health problems in their early years (from 1-6 years of age). Out of the 392,964 babies born in NSW between 2001-2005, it was found that:

  • It was more likely that children who were hospitalised had been born pre-term or had a severe medical condition at birth, were born to younger mothers, mothers who smoked and mothers who were not married or in a de facto relationship at the time of birth
  • The most common conditions associated with hospitalisation between 1 and 6 years of age included respiratory illnesses (i.e. asthma, tonsillitis and pneumonia) and gastrointestinal infections (i.e. diarrhoea, gastroenteritis and rotavirus enteritis)
  • Children who had been born pre-term and had a severe medical condition at birth had health problems which continued between the ages of 1-6 years.


How did the PHRN infrastructure help?
The Centre for Health Record Linkage (CHeReL) linked NSW perinatal data with NSW hospital data and the NSW death data for the research team to analyse.

Authors/Contributors
Stephens AS, Lain SJ, Roberts CL, Bowen JR, Simpson JM, Nassar N.

Reference
Stephens AS, Lain SJ, Roberts CL, Bowen JR, Simpson JM, Nassar N. Hospitalisations from 1 to 6 years of age: effects of gestational age and severe neonatal morbidity. Paediatric and perinatal epidemiology. 2015;29(3):241-9. Accessed 26 May 2016 <http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ppe.12188/abstract;jsessionid=38FA9FF4D0D32684E082EE34A0B4EFE7.f02t01>