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Table 3 Age-specific 30-day incidence of different symptoms or symptom groups and corresponding proportion of healthcare seeking (HS) in Hong Kong, February 2014 to May 2015 (N = 3253)

From: A population-based study on healthcare-seeking behaviour of persons with symptoms of respiratory and gastrointestinal-related infections in Hong Kong

 0-15y (n = 285)16-54y (n = 2661)≥55y (n = 305) 
SymptomNo. episodes (30-day incidence rate, %)HS%b (95% CI)No. episodes (30-day incidence rate, %)HS% (95% CI)No. episodes (30-day incidence rate, %)HS% (95% CI)p-valuea
Fever56 (5.5)77.6 (68.1, 87.1)186 (1.8)68.6 (60.6, 76.5)17 (1.4)98.1 (94.6, 100)< 0.001
Rash12 (1.1)49.8 (24.5, 75.0)13 (0.1)74.2 (47.7, 100)0 (0)0.405
Shortness of breath7 (0.6)72.3 (45.8, 98.8)77 (0.7)51.7 (35.0, 68.4)8 (0.7)64.0 (46.7, 81.4)0.383
Eye-relatedc8 (0.7)38.0 (11.1, 64.9)57 (0.5)34.4 (20.0, 48.8)7 (0.6)82.5 (68.0, 96.9)0.362
Diarrhoea19 (1.7)53.2 (34.3, 72.1)174 (1.7)47.3 (38.2, 56.5)9 (0.7)52.1 (24.6, 79.6)0.301
Vomiting14 (1.3)59.2 (36.6, 81.7)106 (1.0)50.6 (38.4, 62.8)9 (0.7)36.9 (21.5, 52.3)0.318
Cough88 (9.5)51.2 (42.8, 59.7)508 (5.4)45.4 (39.8, 51.0)47 (4.2)45.0 (37.0, 53.1)< 0.001
Runny Nose106 (11.9)52.2 (43.9, 60.5)685 (7.6)39.8 (35.0, 44.6)55 (4.9)52.1 (41.8, 62.4)< 0.001
Sore throat30 (2.8)40.9 (27.8, 54.1)479 (5.1)38.4 (33.1, 43.8)31 (2.7)70.4 (59.5, 81.4)< 0.001
Headache13 (1.2)3.7 (0, 11.1)765 (8.6)31.6 (26.8, 36.4)84 (7.9)44.0 (35.6, 52.4)0.002
Dizziness4 (0.4)12.4 (0, 36.2)390 (4.0)32.3 (26.2, 38.4)41 (3.6)39.5 (28.3, 50.7)0.419
Chills7 (0.6)52.3 (20.8, 83.7)203 (2.0)35.2 (27.1, 43.4)17 (1.4)17.8 (0, 35.7)0.017
Abdominal pain6 (0.5)35.1 (8.6, 61.6)144 (1.4)32.0 (21.9, 42.0)11 (0.9)26.6 (13.1, 40.1)0.038
Nausea2 (0.2)39.5 (1.3, 98.7)127 (1.2)31.2 (20.1, 42.2)14 (1.2)27.9 (0, 63.6)0.524
Loss of appetite31 (2.9)25.6 (13.4, 37.7)176 (1.7)27.7 (19.6, 35.8)24 (2.0)28.6 (4.2, 53.1)0.001
Low back pain3 (0.3)41.0 (0.8, 90.6)559 (5.9)20.3 (15.7, 24.8)62 (5.5)30.1 (22.0, 38.2)0.034
Myalgia7 (0.6)22.2 (0, 49.0)499 (5.3)21.5 (16.9, 26.2)45 (4.0)9.5 (3.7, 15.3)0.230
Fatigue30 (2.8)6.5 (0, 13.8)874 (10.0)15.4 (11.9, 19.0)84 (7.9)12.2 (6.4, 17.9)< 0.001
ILI35 (3.3)91.7 (84.3, 99.1)62 (0.6)84.0 (74.6, 93.4)7 (0.6)100 (59.0, 100)0.106
ARI93 (10.0)75.4 (68.3, 82.4)648 (7.1)57.4 (52.6, 62.3)64 (5.9)72.6 (65.1, 80.2)< 0.001
Any symptoms151 (20.4)69.9 (63.4, 76.4)2180 (46.5)33.2 (30.2, 36.2)233 (30.6)44.9 (39.3, 50.5)< 0.001
  1. HS healthcare seeking, ILI influenza-like illness, ARI acute respiratory illness
  2. aLikelihood ratio test for age differences in the consultation rate
  3. bHS %: estimate of proportion of patients visited medical consultation due to each symptom after multiple imputation
  4. cEye-related symptoms include red eyes, eye irritation, watery eyes and mucous discharge in eye. All these symptoms had small number of reported episodes and were combined for analysis