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Research project

Primary care for children in Rotterdam

Status: Ongoing (March 2019 - 2025)

What medical complaints do children present with in general practice and how are these related to socio-economic factors including exposure to air pollution.

What we do

About our project

In the Netherlands, general practitioners are the point of entry to healthcare and manage the majority of childhood illnesses. Studying trends in childhood illness provides information of changes in healthcare pattern and potential influential social factors. However, there are conflicting results regarding whether living in a socially deprived neighbourhood is associated with increased childhood consultation rates. Furthermore, little is currently known about the health problems with which children living in large cities visit their general practitioner.

We hypothesize that children living in socially deprived areas will have higher consultation rates and poorer health outcomes than those living in non-socially deprived areas.

This cohort study will be conducted in the Rijnmond Gezond database, which is a region-specific derivative of the Dutch IPCI-healthcare database, containing the full medical data of approximately 200.000 primary care patients. Rijnmond has the highest number of deprived neighbourhoods compared to other Dutch regions. Inclusion criteria are children aged less than 18 years who were diagnosed according to the ICPC-2nd edition following a consultation with their general practitioner. Postal codes of the primary care practices will be used as a proxy for social deprivation score. Descriptive statistics will be used to obtain the consultation rates per person-years. Chi-square test will be used to analyse the association between social deprivation score and childhood diseases. Multivariate analysis will be used to determine the association between air pollution and most common childhood diseases presenting to the general practitioner.

Our research focus

Primary outcomes
Consultation rates and yearly trends of childhood diseases.
Air pollution levels at level of socio-economic score.

Secondary outcomes
Childhood consultation rates of obesity and psychological complaints.

Funds & Grants



Department of Medical Informatics

Our team

Dr. E.I.T. de Schepper, e.deschepper@erasmusmc.nl
Dr. A.M. Bohnen, a.bohnen@erasmusmc.nl
Prof. Dr. P.J.E. Bindels, p.bindels@erasmusmc.nl

Contact address for the project: m.fonderson@erasmusmc.nl.