Housing Troubles Linked to a Spike in Child Abuse Admissions

In more sobering news about the impact of the recent recession on our nation, results from a new analysis demonstrated a significant link between 90-day mortgage delinquency and foreclosure on the rate of hospital admissions for injuries from child abuse.

Image courtesy flickr user Nick Bastian (CC)

In fact, for each 1% increase in 90-day delinquency over the prior 12 months per metropolitan area, the rate of child abuse admissions to a peditaric hospital serving that metropolitan area increased 3.2%. For each 1% increase in foreclose rates over the prior 12 months per metropolitan area, the rate of child abuse admissions increased even more, to 6.8%, Dr. Joanne N. Wood reported at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies in Denver.

There was no relationship detected between unemployment rates and child abuse admission rates. The findings come from an analysis of children younger than age 6 admitted to 36 pediatric hospitals in the United States from 2000-2009.

Regional variation in child abuse admission rates was seen among the 36 hospitals during the study’s time period, “which underscores the need for surveillance and coordination with local child welfare systems as they respond to the recession,” said Dr. Wood, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

— Doug Brunk (on Twitter@dougbrunk)

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Filed under Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Hospital and Critical Care Medicine, IMNG, Internal Medicine News, Pediatrics, Primary care

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