Hospitalization in Sweden of children born to immigrants

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Aim: To study whether excess hospitalization occurs among certain groups of children born in Sweden to immigrant parents. Methods: The study was based on linkage of the Swedish Medical Birth Register 1987-1997 and the Swedish Hospital Discharge Register 1987-1998. Results: Among children whose parents were of Swedish nationality excess hospitalization was found for children of young mothers, parity 3 or more, and if the mother smoked in early pregnancy. These factors were controlled for in the further analysis. Ten years after birth, a large percentage of children born to parents with foreign nationality could not be followed owing to death or emigration (19.9% vs 1.77% of children with Swedish parents). An excess hospitalization of immigrant children up to the age of about 5 y was seen but after that, if anything, these children were hospitalized less. For the whole group of children born to parents of non-Swedish nationality there was no difference in hospitalization rate after stratification for risk factors and age. When analysis was performed for specific nationalities significantly reduced rates were found for several western European countries while significantly increased rates were seen for the Middle East, north Africa and especially sub-Saharan Africa (odds ratio 1.57, 95% confidence interval 1.49-1.64). Conclusion: A moderately increased rate of child hospitalization was only observed for some selected immigrant groups.


  • N Danielsson
  • A Ericsson
  • M Eriksson
  • Bengt Källén
  • R Zetterstrom
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Pediatrics


  • medical care, immigrants, hospitalization, epidemiology, ethnic groups
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-232
JournalActa Pædiatrica
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Publication categoryResearch