News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Studies reveal infectious disease inequality continues in NZ

Studies reveal infectious disease inequality continues in New Zealand
Invasive streptococcal infections also increasing in NZ

Embargo: 0:01H AEDT Thursday 27 March 2014

Thursday, 27 March (Adelaide): A study presented at this year’s Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases (ASID) meeting in Adelaide, Australia, shows that infectious disease inequality in New Zealand’s population is continuing, while rates of streptococcal and staphylococcal disease are well above the level seen in other developed countries.

Research by Dr Mark Hobbs (Auckland City Hospital and University of Auckland, NZ) and colleagues shows that, in a group of 6846 children born in 2009-2010 (the Growing Up in New Zealand study cohort), the risk of infectious disease hospitalisation was doubled for children of low birthweight compared with normal birthweight; increased by 34% for boys versus girls, increased by 2.5 times (or 150%) when born to a Pacific mother and by 1.5 times (or 56%) when born to a Maori mother compared with children born to mothers of New Zealand European ethnicity.

Children whose mothers smoked were 51% more likely to be hospitalised with an infectious disease. Those living in cities and urban areas were two thirds (66%) more likely to be hospitalised than those living rurally, and children placed in day care were 48% more likely to be hospitalised than children not placed in day care.

Dr Hobbs concludes: “Maori and Pacific children in NZ have a disproportionately high risk of admission with infection compared to New Zealand children of European ethnicity, consistent with that observed in Aboriginal children in Australia. The independence of the other risk factors identified indicates that interventions such as preventing low birthweight and smoke exposure are likely to benefit children irrespective of their ethnicity or household deprivation.”

He adds: “Regarding the increased risk in day care, young children in day care settings are exposed to a lot of bugs from the other children, and in some of these children this will lead to admission for chest infection or gastroenteritis or other problems depending on what they have caught.”

In other studies to be presented at the ASID meeting, Dr Deborah Williamson (Institute of Environmental Science and Research, Wellington and University of Auckland, NZ) and colleagues show that the incidence of invasive and non-invasive Staphylococcus aureus disease in New Zealand is among the highest reported in the developed world.

Using nationally collated hospital discharge data, Williamson and colleagues analysed the epidemiology of serious S. aureus infections in New Zealand between 2000 and 2011. The incidence of S. aureus skin and soft tissue infections (SSTI) increased significantly from 81 per 100,000 in 2000 to 140 per 100,000 in 2011, representing an increase of approximately 5% each year and 73% across the 11 years measured. Marked ethnic and sociodemographic inequality across all S. aureus infections was seen, with the incidence of all forms of S. aureus disease highest in Māori and Pacific Peoples (with rates of SSTIs three times higher in these populations than New Zealanders of European ethnicity) and in those patients residing in areas of high socioeconomic deprivation.

“This study is one of the few to assess trends in S. aureus disease across an entire nation,” says Dr Williamson. “The increase in S. aureus SSTIs, coupled with the observed demographic disparities, is of considerable concern. Future work should aim to reduce this disturbing national trend.”

A second study by Dr Williamson’s team showed that the incidence of invasive group A streptococcal infections (GAS) increased from 3.9 per 100,000 population in 2002 to 7.9 per 100,000 population in 2012. Alarmingly, this is well above the rate reported by other developed nations of between 2 and 4 per 100,000 population. Invasive group A streptococcus infections can cause conditions such as pneumonia, bacteraemia (which can lead to sepsis/septic shock), necrotising fasciitis (also known as flesh eating syndrome), and streptococcal toxic shock syndrome.

“The incidence was highest in the over 75-year age group, and in Pacific Peoples, with the incidence in Pacific Peoples almost seven times higher than in New Zealanders of European ethnicity,” says Dr Williamson.

She concludes:The underlying reasons for the significant increase in invasive GAS infections in New Zealand are unclear, although possible contributory factors include increasing national rates of SSTIs or changes in the virulence of different types of circulating GAS strains.”


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Scoop Review Of Books: Q&A: Prue Hyman On ‘Hopes Dashed?’

For Scoop Review of Books, Alison McCulloch interviewed Prue Hyman about her new book, part of the BWB Texts series, Hopes Dashed? The Economics of Gender Inequality More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Chuck Berry (And James Comey, And Bill English)

Back when many people were still treating rock’n’roll as a passing fad – was calypso going to be the new thing? – Chuck Berry knew that it had changed popular music forever. What is even more astonishing is that this 30-ish black r&b musician from a middle class family in St Louis could manage to recreate the world of white teenagers, at a time when the very notion of a “teenager” had just been invented. More>>

Howard Davis Review:
The Baroque Fusion Of L'arpeggiata

Named after a toccata by German composer Girolamo Kapsberger, L'Arpeggiata produces its unmistakable sonority mainly from the resonance of plucked strings, creating a tightly-woven acoustic texture that is both idiosyncratic and immediately identifiable. Director Christina Pluhar engenders this distinctive tonality associated with the ensemble she founded in 2000 by inviting musicians and vocalists from around the world to collaborate on specific projects illuminated by her musicological research. More>>

African Masks And Sculpture: Attic Discovery On Display At Expressions Whirinaki

Ranging from masks studded with nails and shards of glass to statues laden with magical metal, the works are from ethnic groups in nine countries ranging from Ivory Coast to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. More>>

Obituary: Andrew Little Remembers Murray Ball

“Murray mined a rich vein of New Zealand popular culture and exported it to the world. Wal and Dog and all the other Kiwi characters he crafted through Footrot Flats were hugely popular here and in Australia, Europe and North America." More>>

ALSO:

Organised Choas: NZ Fringe Festival 2017 Awards

Three more weeks of organised chaos have come to an end with the Wellington NZ Fringe Arts Festival Awards Ceremony as a chance to celebrate all our Fringe artists for their talent, ingenuity, and chutzpah! More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Wellington Writer Wins $US165,000 Literature Prize

Victoria University of Wellington staff member and alumna Ashleigh Young has won a prestigious Windham-Campbell Literature Prize worth USD$165,000 for her book of essays Can You Tolerate This? More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: We’re All Lab Rats

A couple of years ago, there were reports that Silicon Valley executives were sending their children to tech-free schools. It was a story that dripped of irony: geeks in the heart of techno-utopia rejecting their ideology when it came to their own kids. But the story didn’t catch on, and an awkward question lingered. Why were the engineers of the future desperate to part their gadgets from their children? More>>

  • CensusAtSchool - Most kids have no screen-time limits
  • Netsafe - Half of NZ high school students unsupervised online
  • Get More From Scoop

     
     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
    Health
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news