The study focused on California because of the state's availability of data. Researchers studied babies in their first year from 1993 to 2005, which was more than 6.4 million infants. The study, published in the November issue of Pediatrics, found that 9.8 percent of urban babies were admitted to the hospital in their first year, compared to just 8.9 percent of rural babies.
If urban babies had been hospitalized at the same rate as rural babies, there would have been 46,000 fewer hospitalizations over the time period of the study. Urban infants also spent more time in the hospital when admitted. Researchers concluded that proximity to hospitals may be an explanation for why urban infants are admitted more. (Read more)