Table 2

Clinical characteristics of diarrhea and laboratory tests ordered, overall and by region
Total (n = 800) Beijing (n = 400) Shaanxi province (n = 400) p
Complaints, n (%)
  Fever 261 (32.6) 162 (40.5) 99 (24.8) <0.001
  Abdominal pain 588 (73.5) 281 (70.3) 307 (76.8) 0.037
  Vomiting 223 (27.9) 103 (25.8) 120 (30.0) 0.18
Stool characteristics, n (%)
  Watery 554 (69.3) 63 (65.8) 291 (72.8) 0.032
  Loose 224 (28.0) 131 (32.8) 93 (23.3) 0.003
  Blood 22 (2.8) 6 (1.5) 16 (4.0) 0.031
Frequency of stools/24 h, mean ± SD [95% CI] 6.2 ± 3.0 6.4 ± 3.2 6.0 ± 2.7 0.086
[6.0; 6.4] [6.1; 6.3] [5.8; 6.3]
Clinical dehydration, n (%) 136 (17.0) 72 (18.0) 64 (16.0) 0.451
Time from onset of diarrhea to visiting diarrhea clinic, n (%)
  <3 days 530 (66.3) 311 (77.8) 219 (54.8) <0.001
  3–7 days 252 (31.5) 86 (21.5) 166 (41.5) <0.001
  >7 days 18 (2.3) 3 (0.8) 15 (3.8) 0.004
  Mean ± SD [95% CI], days 2.4 ± 1.6 2.0 ± 1.4 2.8 ± 1.8 <0.001
[2.3; 2.6] [1.9; 2.2] [2.7; 3.0]
Self-medication before visiting diarrhea clinic, n (%) 251 (31.4) 145 (36.3) 106 (26.5) 0.003
Laboratory tests ordered
  Routine stool examination 565 (70.6) 359 (89.8) 206 (51.5) <0.001
  Stool culture for vibrio cholera 460 (57.5) 400 (100) 60 (15.0) <0.001
  Stool culture for non-vibrio bacteria 91 (11.4) 34 (8.5) 57 (14.3) 0.01
  Routine blood examination 445 (55.6) 205 (51.3) 240 (60.0) 0.013

Clinical dehydration: moderate-to-severe dehydration. p-values refer to comparisons between data for Beijing and Shaanxi province.

Hou et al.

Hou et al. BMC Public Health 2013 13:41   doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-41

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