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Central Valley Health Policy Institute

Preventable Childhood Illness Report



Individual and Neighborhood Characteristics

Reducing rates of childhood illness is a key public health objective, given that many of the conditions developed in childhood will negatively impact the individual well into adulthood.  This report uses data on emergency department (ED) visits, hospitalizations and pediatric mortality to examine how families and communities in California’s San Joaquin Valley (SJV) are impacted by child morbidity and mortality.  The relatively rare and costly health events explored here are associated with more negative self-reported health: they are indicative of the burden of disease faced by children and their families in the region.

The report has a primary focus on preventable and non-preventable emergency department (ED) and in-patient hospital admissions. Admissions characterized as preventable are for ambulatory care—sensitive conditions (ACSC), diagnoses for which timely and effective community health services reduce the likelihood of hospitalizations. Asthma and pneumonia are the two health conditions for which children most often have preventable hospitalization. Non-preventable conditions are also examined because a growing literature indicates that families and communities with higher rates of preventable pediatric acute events also face greater risk for non-preventable admissions.

Read the full introduction