The rise and fall of hospitalizations for skin infections in New Zealand, 2004-2014: trends by ethnicity and socioeconomic deprivation.

Epidemiology and infection

PubMedID: 27903309

Lim A, Rumball-Smith J, Jones R, Kawachi I. The rise and fall of hospitalizations for skin infections in New Zealand, 2004-2014: trends by ethnicity and socioeconomic deprivation. Epidemiol Infect. 2016;1-7.
Since the 1990s, New Zealand (NZ) has seen an increasing incidence of paediatric skin infections leading to hospitalization. We sought to describe the epidemiology of these infections over time. Hospital discharge data were analysed for all children admitted to any NZ public hospital from 2004 to 2014. We found the age-standardized incidence of hospitalizations due to skin infections increased during this period from 522/100 000 in 2004 to a peak of 644/100 000 in 2011, after which it declined to 524/100 000 in 2014. This decline in incidence was driven primarily by the decline in hospitalization rates in high-risk groups including children living in the most deprived areas as well as Maori and Pacific children. Recent targeted policies focused on improving healthcare access through school-based and primary care-based interventions in these high-risk groups could potentially explain the decline in hospitalization rates. However, even with the closing of the inequality gap, significant socioeconomic and ethnic health disparities persist.