Magnitude and determinants of diarrhea among 0-6 year’s children: a cohort study from central India

Rakesh Kumar, Rajnish Borkar


Background: Inspite of efforts of all the stakeholders, diarrhea still remains a cause of significant morbidity and mortality in developing country like India.

Methods: A follow up study was done among 305 children of 0-6 year’s age to estimate the incidence and risk factors of diarrhea. Diarrhea was defined as more than 3 stools in one day that were more liquid than usual. At each monthly follow up enquiry was made about the occurrence of diarrhea, health seeking, infant feeding practices and dietary history etc. Cumulative incidence, attack rates and risk ratio was used to estimate the burden and risk factors of diarrhea.

Results: The number of diarrhea episodes per child per year was 0.65 (95% CI=0.62-0.67). The cumulative incidence of diarrhea among 0-6 years children was 485.7 per 1000 children per year (95% CI=430.8–540.9). In terms of attack rate, the diarrhea among 0-6 years children was 63.5 percent (95% CI=58.1–68.7). Age of child, birth weight, total duration of breastfeeding, anaemia and season were found to be significant risk factors of diarrhea.

Conclusions: Further substantial changes in diarrhea incidence will require action on multiple factors like improvement of birth weight of child by better maternal and child health (MCH) care, continued breastfeeding of child till two year of age, correction of anaemia and provision of safe water supply and sanitation during summer and raining season. 


Diarrhea, Incidence, Risk factors, Cohort study

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