Morbidity and mortality among populations suffering floods in Hunan, China: the role of socioeconomic status


Correspondence: Dr Hongzhuan Tan, Department of Epidemiology and Health Statistics, School of Public Health, Central South University, Xiangya Road 110, Changsha, Hunan 410008, China
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A cross-sectional survey in randomly selected eight counties affected by the 1998 floods in Hunan, China, was conducted in year 2000 using a structured questionnaire. Data obtained included demographic and housing characteristics of subjects; family income; morbidity and mortality during and after the floods; and type and severity of flood suffered. Gender, age group, source of drinking water, type of flood suffered, and severity of flood suffered played highly significant roles in morbidity while gender, age group, educational level, family size, and type of flood suffered played highly significant roles in mortality among populations suffering floods. Intervention strategies in such populations need to take into account these characteristics with the view of reducing the health impact of floods.