Close-contact infectious diseases in New Zealand: Trends in ethnic inequalities in hospitalisations, 1989 to 2008

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Summary of Publication

Infectious diseases are the most common cause of acute overnight hospitalisation in New Zealand. This report provides analysis of close-contact infectious diseases (CCIDs). CCIDs include respiratory, skin, and enteric infections spread by person-to-person contact in the community.

Infectious diseases, and particularly CCIDs, are making a large and increasing contribution to acute overnight hospitalisations in New Zealand. Their incidence is known to have increased during the 1990s. They continue to be an important cause of health inequalities with markedly higher rates of hospitalisation for Maori and Pacific people, compared with Europeans and others.

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This report is part of a project with three specific aims:

  • To produce a detailed description of CCID hospitalisations.
  • To produce a detailed description of household crowding across the 1991 to 2006 census period, with a specific focus on Maori housing conditions and ethnic and socioeconomic inequalities.
  • To identify how improvement to housing conditions and reduced inequalities could contribute to a reduced burden of infectious diseases from housing conditions.

This report addresses the first of these aims: This report describes the epidemiology of infectious diseases and close-contact infectious diseases (CCIDs) for the 20-year period from 1989 to 2008, with a specific focus on ethnic inequalities, with a focus on Maori.

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