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The association of socio-demographic and environmental factors on childhood diarrhea in Cambodia [version 5; peer review: 2 approved]
Authors: Vong Pisey, Pannee Banchonhattakit, and Wongsa Laohasiriwong
Source: F1000 Research, Volume 9, issue: 303; DOI:
Topic(s): Child health
Environmental health
Country: Asia
Published: SEP 2021
Abstract: Background: Diarrhea diseases remain the leading cause of death among children under-five in lower and lower-middle-income countries. This study was conducted to investigate the factors related to diarrhea among children aged 12 to 35 months in Cambodia. Methods: We analyzed cross-sectional data from the Cambodia Demographic and Health Survey 2014 using a combination of household and children’s datasets. A generalized linear mixed model was used to analyze the determinant factors of diarrhea. Results: The survey included 2,828 children aged 12 to 35 months. The prevalence of diarrhea in the last 2 weeks was 16.44% (95% CI: 14.72%-18.31%). Factors significantly associated with childhood diarrhea were: maternal unemployment (AOR = 1.43; 95% CI: 1.14-1.78); the child being male (AOR = 1.25; 95%CI: 1.02-1.53); the presence of unimproved toilet facilities (AOR = 1.17; 95%CI: 1.05-1.31); and unhygienic disposal of children’s stools (AOR = 1.32; 95%CI: 1.06-1.64) when controlling for other covariates. Both maternal age (one year older; AOR = 0.85; 95%CI: 0.78– 0.93) and child age (one month older; AOR = 0.86; 95%CI: 0.78-0.94) had significant negative associations with the occurrence of childhood diarrhea. Conclusion: Childhood diarrhea remains a public health concern in Cambodia. Intervention programs should focus on reducing diarrheal diseases by constructing improved toilet facilities and promoting behavior to improve hygiene, specifically targeting younger mothers.