October 13, 2020

Increased unemployment linked to increased pediatric hospitalizations

By: Judy Mathias
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Editor's Note

This study by researchers from Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri, and others found that for four economy-sensitive conditions, increased unemployment was associated with increased pediatric hospitalizations.

A 1% increase in unemployment was associated with a:


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  • 5% increase in hospitalization for substance abuse
  • 4% increase for diabetes
  • 2% increase for children with medical complexities
  • 2% increase for poisoning and burns.

In addition, for every 1% increase in unemployment, mean pediatric all-cause hospitalizations increased by 2%.

Further research is needed to examine federal, state, and local policies that may mitigate the influence of unemployment on child health and hospitalizations, the researchers say.

The researchers examine associations between county-level unemployment and pediatric hospitalizations in 14 states every third year.

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