Trends in hospitalization among asthmatic children were examined over a period of 15 years on the basis of a hospital discharge register covering all hospitals in Finland. The annual mean population under 15 years of age, 992 994, had a total of 37 965 hospitalization periods on account of asthma during the interval studied. Examination in 5 year are groups showed treatment periods for boys under 5 years to have increased by 1.8% annually relative to the total population (95% confidence interval +0.6–+3.1) and those for girls by 2.2% (95% CI+0.7–+3.7), whereas the changes in the older age groups were insignificant. First admissions decreased annually in all age groups in the case of both boys and girls. The numbers of hospitalization periods due to asthma were significantly higher for boys than for girls. The use of hospital services by asthmatic children was appropriate during the period concerned, which may partly be explained by the fact that child health care is well organized in Finland and the treatment of childhood asthma entirely in the hands of paediatricians.
Asthma Hospitalization Children Hospital service Paediatric care
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