Epidemiology and Infection

Gastrointestinal infection and helicobacter

Risk factors for gastroenteritis: a nested case-control study

S. RODRIGOa1, M. SINCLAIRa1, R. WOLFEa1 and K. LEDERa1 c1

a1 Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

SUMMARY

This nested case-control study investigated the risk factors for gastroenteritis in a cohort using rainwater as their primary domestic water source. Consumption of beef [odds ratio (OR) 2·74, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·56–4·80], handling of raw fresh chicken in the household (OR 1·52, 95% CI 1·02–2·29) and animal contact (OR 1·83, 95% CI 1·20–2·83) were found to be significant risk factors (P>0·05). Significant protective effects were observed with raw salad prepared at home (OR 0·33, 95% CI 0·18–0·58), consumption of salami (OR 0·60, 95% CI 0·36–0·98), and shellfish (OR 0·31, 95% CI 0·14–0·67). This study provides novel insight into community-based endemic gastroenteritis showing that consumption of beef was associated with increased odds of illness and with a population attributable fraction (PAF) of 57·6%. Detecting such a high PAF for beef in a non-outbreak setting was unexpected.

(Accepted April 16 2010)

(Online publication May 18 2010)

Correspondence:

c1 Author for correspondence: Associate Professor K. Leder, Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, The Alfred, 89 Commercial Road, Melbourne, Australia, 3004. (Email: karin.leder@med.monash.edu.au)

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