Aim: To identify cough epidemiology and outcomes in urban Indigenous children.
Methods: An ongoing prospective cohort study of Indigenous children aged <5 years registered with at an urban Indigenous primary health care centre, Brisbane. Detailed baseline data are collected and, children are followed monthly for 12 months to capture ARI events. Children who develop cough as a symptom at any time over the 12 months have weekly follow-up for four weeks to ascertain cough outcomes.
Results: To date, 118 children have been enrolled (535 child-months of observation); Respiratory illnesses accounted for 23 (19 %) of overall reported reasons for presentation, however respiratory symptoms were present in 41 (35%)of all visits; a dry cough in 22 (18%), wet cough in 31 (26%). To date, 99ARI’s have been recorded with an incidence of 18.4 episodes/100 child months.Seventeen children (14.4%) had persistent cough at day 28.
Conclusion: This is the first study to comprehensively describe the incidence and outcomes of cough in urban Indigenous children. Early data suggest respiratory illnesses are the most common illnesses for which these children seek medical advice and there is a high prevalence of wet cough.