The relationship between multiple hospital admission (three or more) in early childhood and social deprivation was explored using data from two Sheffield whole year birth cohorts (1980 and 1985). The findings demonstrate a strong relationship between multiple admission for mainly, and exclusively, organic reasons and residence in an area of deprivation. The relationship persists when low birthweight infants and those with young mothers are excluded from the analysis. The results suggest a dual effect of deprivation on early childhood hospital admission; an increase in admissions associated with organic pathology and those associated with impaired parental coping.
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