June 10, 2013
Overcrowding driving disease
University of Otago researchers have found one in five hospital admissions of Māori and Pacific people for infectious diseases results from household overcrowding more than twice the rate of Pakeha.
Lead investigator Professor Michael Baker says the study, which was done as part of the He Kainga Oranga Housing and Health Research Programme, looked at diseases such as pneumonia, meningococcal disease and tuberculosis.
He says it shows there is a very real and urgent need to lower overcrowding as a first step to reducing serious diseases among New Zealand's most vulnerable populations.
Household crowding is estimated to cause more than 1300 hospital admissions a year for the nine disease categories studied, along with some deaths.
Most of the diseases in the study have especially high rates in children.
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