Community incidences of respiratory infections in an actively followed cohort of children <1 year of age in Manhiça, a rural area of southern Mozambique
To estimate the community incidence-rates of respiratory infections among infants in Manhiça, southern Mozambique, and to determine risk factors associated with these infections. Methods
A cohort of children <1 year of age were visited at home every week until they turned one. During the visits, field workers recorded signs/symptoms of respiratory infections and tested the children for malaria parasites when they had fever. Results
Between 1 July 1998 and 30 June 1999, 1044 children contributed with 23 726 weeks at risk. Children met the criteria for acute respiratory infection in 19.2% of the visits, for lower respiratory infection in 0.9% and for severe lower respiratory infection in 0.2%. The crude incidence rate measured for acute respiratory infections was 23.0, that for lower respiratory infection was 0.9 and that for severe lower respiratory infection was 0.2 per 100-person-week-at-risk. The risk of acute and lower respiratory infection was inversely related to age. Females were at significantly lower risk for all three conditions than males. A trend of increased risk of severe lower respiratory infection was noted among children born during the rainy season (adjusted rate ratio = 1.95, P = 0.122 in only 47 episodes). Malaria was strongly associated with an increased risk of all three respiratory infections [rate ratio of 2.35, 10.90 and 13.82 (P < 0.001) in the adjusted analysis, respectively]. Thirty-five children died during the follow-up period; 20% of them from lower respiratory infection. Conclusions
Respiratory infections are a major cause of morbidity and mortality among infants in rural Mozambique. Our study provides a better understanding of the associated determinants.