Prevalence of childhood disability in a Southern Indian city: Independent effect of small differences in social status

JoAnne E Natale, Jill G Joseph, Randall Bergen, Ravilla D. Thulasiraj, Laxmi Rahmathullah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


A random sample of mothers living in two neighbourhoods of a southern Indian city were interviewed in order to determine the prevalence of serious disability in children 2-9 years old. These areas were selected because residents constitute either the lowest class or the next higher socioeconomic class (next-to-lowest class), with monthly incomes of US$ 10-15 and 32-42 respectively. A previously validated screening instrument was used with documented sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 95% when applied under similar conditions. Disability was found to be more common among children of the lowest class families (17.2%) when compared with the next-to-lowest class families (8.4%); with an odds ratio (OR) of 2.36 (95% confidence interval (CI) : 1.08-3.64). Specific types of disability were examined and found to be consistently more prevalent in the lowest class. These results suggest that comparatively small differences in social status can be associated with important differences in health status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-372
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1992
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Epidemiology

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