Socioeconomic disadvantage and onset of childhood chronic disabling conditions: A cohort study

Nick Spencer*, Lyndall Strazdins

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    18 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Objective: To study the temporal relationship between socioeconomic disadvantage and onset of chronic disabling conditions in childhood. Method: Using parent reported data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children, we compared children who developed a chronic disabling condition between the ages of 6/7 and 10/11 years with children without a chronic disabling condition at either age. Logistic regression models assessed association between onset of chronic disabling condition and household income quintiles at 6/7 years, adjusting for confounders. To study the consequences of chronic disabling condition onset for family finances, a linear regression model was fitted on change in household income adjusted for income at 6/7. We compared prevalence of family material hardship in the two groups between 6/7 and 10/11. Results: Of 4010 children present in both waves, complete data were available for 3629 of whom 233 (6.4%) developed a chronic disabling condition between 6/7 and 10/11. After adjustment for confounding, the children from the lowest income quintile were more than twice as likely to develop a chronic disabling condition as those from the highest income quintile. Onset of a chronic disabling condition was associated with a relatively smaller increase in household income over time, but no change in hardship prevalence. Conclusions: Family socioeconomic disadvantage when children are aged 6/7 is associated with their development of a chronic disabling condition over the next 4 years and with adverse effects on household income.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)317-322
    Number of pages6
    JournalArchives of Disease in Childhood
    Volume100
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2015

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