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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume 13 (2002), Issue 4, Pages 239-244
Original Article

Hospitalizations for Diarrhea in Quebec Children from 1985 to 1998: Estimates of Rotavirus-Associated Diarrhea

René-Pierre Buigues,1 Bernard Duval,1,2 Louis Rochette,1 Nicole Boulianne,1,2 Monique Douville-Fradet,1,2,3 Pierre Déry,4 and Gaston De Serres1,2

1Public Health Research Unit, CHUL Research Centre, Laval University, Quebec City, Canada
2Institut national de santé publique du Québec, Beauport, Canada
3Ministère de la Santé et des Services Sociaux du Québec, Québec City, Canada
4Centre Hospitalier universitaire de Québec, Québec City, Quebec, Canada

Received 17 July 2001; Revised 3 November 2001

Copyright © 2002 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


OBJECTIVE: To characterize the incidence and duration of hospitalization due to diarrhea and to assess the proportion of hospitalizations that are attributed to rotavirus-associated diarrhea.

DESIGN: Retrospective study of hospitalization data.

SETTING: Hospitals located in Quebec.

POPULATION STUDIED: Children from one to 59 months of age who were discharged from hospital from April 1, 1985 to March 31, 1998.

MAIN RESULTS: There were 63,827 hospitalizations for diarrhea over the study period, for an average of 4910 hospitalizations/year. The epidemic curve showed a periodicity with regular alternation of high and low annual peaks. The number of hospitalizations for rotavirus-associated diarrhea was estimated according to three different methods. The estimates varied between 1353 and 1849 hospitalizations due to rotavirus-associated diarrhea/year over the 13-year period, with good agreement between the results of the three methods for a one-month to five years of age incidence of 320 hospitalizations for rotavirus-associated diarrhea/100,000 children. The average duration of hospital stay decreased from 5.2 days in 1985 to 3.3 days in 1998.

CONCLUSIONS: The present article shows the importance of diarrhea hospitalizations among children and the alternating peak-year periodicity.