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Prevalence and morbidity associated with non-malignant, life-threatening conditions in childhood

Lenton, S.; Stallard, P.; Lewis, M.; Mastroyannopoulou, K.; Mastroyannopoulou, Kiki; Stallard, Paul; Lenton, Simon; Lewis, Mary


S. Lenton

P. Stallard

Martin Lewis
Senior Lecturer in Children's Nursing

K. Mastroyannopoulou

Kiki Mastroyannopoulou

Paul Stallard

Simon Lenton

Mary Lewis


Objective To determine the prevalence of non-malignant life-threatening illness in childhood and associated morbidity in the affected child and their family members. Design Cross-sectional survey. Setting Bath Clinical Area (total population 411 800). Subjects Children aged 0-19 years. Results One hundred and twenty-three children were identified, giving a prevalence of 1.2/1000 children. Morbidity assessed in 93 children showed 60% in pain or discomfort, 35% unable to walk and 25% with severe cognitive impairment. Mental health problems were found in 54% of mothers and 30% of fathers, and significant emotional and behavioural problems in 24% of healthy siblings. Conclusions Non-malignant life-threatening illness is more prevalent than reported in previous studies. Considerable morbidity is experienced by the child and their family. An individual and family approach is required. Key messages (1)The prevalence of non-malignant life-threatening illness is four times greater than previous estimates. (2) This group of conditions have significant implications for all family members. (3) Early comprehensive assessment and access to effective interventions may pre-empt later problems. © 2001 Blackwell Science Ltd.


Mastroyannopoulou, K., Lewis, M., Stallard, P., Lenton, S., Mastroyannopoulou, K., Stallard, P., …Lewis, M. (2001). Prevalence and morbidity associated with non-malignant, life-threatening conditions in childhood. Child: Care, Health and Development, 27(5), 389-398.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2001
Journal Child: Care, Health and Development
Print ISSN 0305-1862
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 27
Issue 5
Pages 389-398
Keywords life threatening illness, epidemiology, children
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