Improving program targeting to combat early-life mortality by identifying high-risk births: an application to India.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:It is widely recognized that there are multiple risk factors for early-life mortality. In practice most interventions to curb early-life mortality target births based on a single risk factor, such as poverty. However, most premature deaths are not from the targeted group. Thus interventions target many births that are at not at high risk and miss many births at high risk. METHODS:Using data from the second wave of Demographic and Health Surveys from India and a hierarchical Bayesian model, we estimate infant mortality risk for 73.320 infants in India as a function of 4 risk factors. We show how this information can be used to improve program targeting. We compare our novel approach against common programs that target groups based on a single risk factor. RESULTS:A conventional approach that targets mothers in the lowest quintile of income correctly identifies only 30% of infant deaths. By contrast, using four risk factors simultaneously we identify a group of births of the same size that includes 57% of all deaths. Using the 2012 census to translate these percentages into numbers, there were 25.642.200 births in 2012 and 4.4% died before the age of one. Our approach correctly identifies 643.106 of 1.128.257 infant deaths while poverty only identifies 338.477 infant deaths. CONCLUSION:Our approach considerably improves program targeting by identifying more infant deaths than the usual approach that targets births based on a single risk factor. This leads to more efficient program targeting. This is particularly useful in developing countries, where resources are lacking and needs are high.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>To determine whether there were inequalities in the sustained rise in infant mortality in England in recent years and the contribution of rising child poverty to these trends.<h4>Design</h4>This is an analysis of trends in infant mortality in local authorities grouped into five categories (quintiles) based on their level of income deprivation. Fixed-effects regression models were used to quantify the association between regional changes in child poverty and regional changes in infant mortality.<h4>Setting</h4>324 English local authorities in 9 English government office regions.<h4>Participants</h4>Live-born children under 1?year of age.<h4>Main outcome measure</h4>Infant mortality rate, defined as the number of deaths in children under 1?year of age per 100?000 live births in the same year.<h4>Results</h4>The sustained and unprecedented rise in infant mortality in England from 2014 to 2017 was not experienced evenly across the population. In the most deprived local authorities, the previously declining trend in infant mortality reversed and mortality rose, leading to an additional 24 infant deaths per 100?000 live births per year (95%?CI 6 to 42), relative to the previous trend. There was no significant change from the pre-existing trend in the most affluent local authorities. As a result, inequalities in infant mortality increased, with the gap between the most and the least deprived local authority areas widening by 52 deaths per 100?000 births (95%?CI 36 to 68). Overall from 2014 to 2017, there were a total of 572 excess infant deaths (95%?CI 200 to 944) compared with what would have been expected based on historical trends. We estimated that each 1% increase in child poverty was significantly associated with an extra 5.8 infant deaths per 100?000 live births (95%?CI 2.4 to 9.2). The findings suggest that about a third of the increases in infant mortality between 2014 and 2017 can be attributed to rising child poverty (172 deaths, 95%?CI 74 to 266).<h4>Conclusion</h4>This study provides evidence that the unprecedented rise in infant mortality disproportionately affected the poorest areas of the country, leaving the more affluent areas unaffected. Our analysis also linked the recent increase in infant mortality in England with rising child poverty, suggesting that about a third of the increase in infant mortality from 2014 to 2017 may be attributed to rising child poverty.
Project description:Infant mortality rates (IMR) remain high in many sub-Saharan African countries, especially in rural settings where access to health services may be limited. Studies in such communities can provide relevant data on the burden of and risk factors for infant death. We measured IMR and explored risk factors for infant death in a cohort of children born in Banfora Health District, a rural area in South-West Burkina Faso.A prospective community-based cohort study was nested within the PROMISE-EBF trial (NCT00397150) in 24 villages of the study area. Maternal and infant baseline characteristics were collected at recruitment and after birth, respectively. Home visits were conducted at weeks 3, 6, 12, 24 and 52 after birth. Descriptive statistics were calculated using robust standard errors to account for cluster sampling. Cox multivariable regression was used to investigate potential risk factors for infant death.Among the 866 live born children included in the study there were 98 infant deaths, yielding an IMR of 113 per 1000 live births (95% CI: 89-143). Over 75% of infant deaths had occurred by 6?months of age and the post neonatal infant mortality rate was 67 per 1000 live births (95% CI: 51-88). Infections (35%) and preterm births complications (23%) were the most common probable causes of death by 6?months. Multivariable analyses identified maternal history of child death, polygyny, twin births and poor anthropometric z-scores at week-3 as factors associated with increased risk of infant death.We observed a very high IMR in a rural area of Burkina Faso, a country where 75% of the population lives in rural settings. Community-based health interventions targeting mothers and children at high risk are urgently needed to reduce the high burden of infant deaths in these areas.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Several studies have examined the association between IPI and birth outcomes, but few have explored the association between interpregnancy interval (IPI) and postnatal outcomes. OBJECTIVE:We examined the association between IPI and injury-related infant mortality, a leading cause of postneonatal mortality. METHODS:We used 2011-2015 US period-linked birth-infant death vital statistics data to generate a multiyear birth cohort of non-first-born singleton births (N = 9 782 029). IPI was defined as the number of months between a live birth and the start of the pregnancy leading to the next live birth. Causes of death in the first year of life were identified using ICD-10 codes. Hazard ratios (HR) for IPI categories were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models adjusted for birth order, county poverty level, and maternal characteristics (marital status, race/ethnicity, education, age at previous birth). RESULTS:After adjustment, overall infant mortality (48.1 per 10 000 births) was higher for short and long IPIs compared with IPI 18-23 months (reference): <6, aHR 1.61, 95% CI 1.54, 1.68; 6-11, aHR 1.22, 95% CI 1.17, 1.26; and 60+ months, aHR 1.12, 95% CI 1.08, 1.16. In comparison, the risk of injury-related infant mortality (4.4 per 10 000 births) decreased with longer IPIs: <6, aHR 1.77, 95% CI 1.55, 2.01; 6-11, aHR 1.41, 95% CI 1.25, 1.59; 12-17, aHR 1.25, 95% CI 1.10, 1.41; 24-59, aHR 0.78, 95% CI 0.69, 0.87; and 60+ months, aHR 0.55, 95% CI 0.48, 0.62. CONCLUSION:Unlike overall infant mortality, injury-related infant mortality decreased with IPI length. While injury-related deaths are rare, these patterns suggest that the timing between births may be a marker of risk for fatal infant injuries. The first year postpartum may be an ideal time for the delivery of evidence-based injury prevention programmes as well as family planning services.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Infant mortality has been rising in England since 2014. We examined potential drivers of these trends.<h4>Methods</h4>We used aggregate data on all live births, stillbirths and linked infant deaths in England in 2006-2016 from the Office for National Statistics. We compared trends in infant mortality rates overall, excluding births at <24 weeks of gestation, by quintile of SES and gestational age.<h4>Results</h4>Infant mortality decreased from 4.78 deaths/1000 live births in 2006 to 3.54/1000 in 2014 (annual decrease of 0.15/1000) and increased to 3.67/1000 in 2016 (annual increase of 0.07/1000). This rise was driven by increases in deaths at 0-6 days of life. After excluding infants born at <24 weeks of gestation, infant mortality continued to decrease after 2014. The risk of infant death was 94% higher in the most versus least deprived SES quintile, which reduced to a 55% higher risk after adjusting for gestational age.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The observed increase in infant mortality rates since 2014 is wholly explained by an increasing number of deaths at 0-6 days of age among babies born at <24 weeks of gestation. Policies focused on improving maternal health to reduce preterm birth could substantially reduce the socio-economic gap in infant survival.
Project description:BACKGROUND:A substantial portion of child deaths in Africa take place in countries with recent history of armed conflict and political instability. However, the extent to which armed conflict is an important cause of child mortality, especially in Africa, remains unknown. METHODS:We matched child survival with proximity to armed conflict using information in the Uppsala Conflict Data Program Georeferenced Events Dataset on the location and intensity of armed conflict from 1995 to 2015 together with the location, timing, and survival of infants younger than 1 year (primary outcome) in 35 African countries. We measured the increase in mortality risk for infants exposed to armed conflicts within 50 km in the year of birth and, to study conflicts' extended health risks, up to 250 km away and 10 years before birth. We also examined the effects of conflicts of varying intensity and chronicity (conflicts lasting several years), and effect heterogeneity by residence and sex of the child. We then estimated the number and portion of deaths of infants younger than 1 year related to conflict. FINDINGS:We identified 15?441 armed conflict events that led to 968?444 combat-related deaths and matched these data with 1·99 million births and 133?361 infant deaths (infant mortality of 67 deaths per 1000 births) between 1995 and 2015. A child born within 50 km of an armed conflict had a risk of dying before reaching age 1 year of 5·2 per 1000 births higher than being born in the same region during periods without conflict (95% CI 3·7-6·7; a 7·7% increase above baseline). This increased risk of dying ranged from a 3·0% increase for armed conflicts with one to four deaths to a 26·7% increase for armed conflicts with more than 1000 deaths. We find evidence of increased mortality risk from an armed conflict up to 100 km away, and for 8 years after conflicts, with cumulative increase in infant mortality two to four times higher than the contemporaneous increase. In the entire continent, the number of infant deaths related to conflict from 1995 to 2015 was between 3·2 and 3·6 times the number of direct deaths from armed conflicts. INTERPRETATION:Armed conflict substantially and persistently increases infant mortality in Africa, with effect sizes on a scale with malnutrition and several times greater than existing estimates of the mortality burden of conflict. The toll of conflict on children, who are presumably not combatants, underscores the indirect toll of conflict on civilian populations, and the importance of developing interventions to address child health in areas of conflict. FUNDING:The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and the Centre for Global Child Health at the Hospital for Sick Children.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:The purpose of this study was to evaluate the risk of death during the first year of life due to injury, such as unintentional injury and homicide, by birth order in the U.S. METHODS:Using national birth cohort-linked birth-infant death data (births, 2000-2010; deaths, 2000-2011), risks of infant mortality due to injury in second-, third-, fourth-, and fifth or later-born singleton infants were compared with first-born singleton infants. Risk ratios were estimated using log-binomial models adjusted for maternal age, marital status, race/ethnicity, and education. The statistical analyses were conducted in 2016. RESULTS:Approximately 40%, 32%, 16%, 7%, and 4% of singleton live births were first, second, third, fourth, and fifth or later born, respectively. From 2000 to 2011, a total of 15,866 infants died as a result of injury (approximately 1,442 deaths per year). Compared with first-born infants (2.9 deaths per 10,000 live births), second or later-born infants were at increased risk of infant mortality due to injury (second, 3.6 deaths; third, 4.2 deaths; fourth, 4.8 deaths; fifth or later, 6.4 deaths). The corresponding adjusted risk ratios were as follows: second, 1.84 (95% CI=1.76, 1.91); third, 2.42 (95% CI=2.30, 2.54); fourth, 2.96 (95% CI=2.77, 3.16); and fifth or later, 4.26 (95% CI=3.96, 4.57). CONCLUSIONS:Singleton infants born second or later were at increased risk of mortality due to injury during their first year of life in the U.S. This study's findings highlight the importance of investigating underlying mechanisms behind this increased risk.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>Infant mortality statistics for Canada have routinely omitted Ontario-Canada's most populous province-as a high proportion of Vital Statistics infant death registrations could not be linked with their corresponding Vital Statistics live birth registrations. We assessed the feasibility of linking an alternative source of live birth information with infant death registrations.<h4>Methods</h4>All infant deaths occurring before 365 days of age registered in Ontario's Vital Statistics in 2010-2011 were linked with birth records in the Canadian Institute for Health Information's hospitalization database. Crude birthweight-specific and gestational age-specific infant mortality rates were calculated, and rates examined according to maternal and infant characteristics.<h4>Results</h4>Of 1311 infant death registrations, only 47 (3.6%) could not be linked to a hospital birth record. The overall crude infant mortality rate was 4.7 deaths per 1000 live births (95% CI, 4.4 to 4.9), the same as previously reported for the rest of Canada in 2011. Infant mortality was higher in women < 20 years (5.8 per 1000 live births) and ? 40 years (5.9 per 1000 live births), and lowest among those aged 25-29 years (3.9 per 1000 live births). Infant mortality was notably higher in the lowest (5.1 per 1000 live births) residential income quintile than the highest (3.4 per 1000 live births).<h4>Conclusion</h4>Use of birth hospitalization records resulted in near-complete linkage of all Vital Statistics infant death registrations. This approach could enhance the conduct of representative surveillance and research on infant mortality when direct linkage of live birth and infant death registrations is not achievable.
Project description:To estimate the extent to which prepregnancy obesity explains the Black-White disparity in stillbirth and infant mortality.A population-based study of linked Pennsylvania birth-infant death certificates (2003-2011; n?=?1,055,359 births) and fetal death certificates (2006-2011; n?=?3,102 stillbirths) for all singleton pregnancies in non-Hispanic (NH) White and NH Black women was conducted. Inverse probability weighted regression was used to estimate the role of prepregnancy obesity in explaining the race-infant/fetal death association.Compared with NH White women, NH Black women were more likely to have obesity (?30 kg/m2 ) and experienced a higher rate of stillbirth (8.3 vs. 3.6 stillbirths per 1,000 live-born and stillborn infants) and infant death (8.5 vs. 3.0 infant deaths per 1,000 live births). When the contribution of prepregnancy obesity was removed, the difference in risk between NH Blacks and NH Whites decreased from 6.2 (95% CI: 5.6-6.7) to 5.5 (95% CI: 4.9-6.2) excess stillbirths per 1,000 and 5.8 (95% CI: 5.3-6.3) to 5.2 (95% CI: 4.7-5.7) excess infant deaths per 1,000.For every 10,000 live births in Pennsylvania (2003-2011), 6 of the 61 excess infant deaths in NH Black women and 5 of the 44 excess stillbirths (2006-2011) were attributable to prepregnancy obesity.
Project description:The effect of altitude on the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) has been reported previously, but with conflicting findings. We aimed to examine whether the risk of sudden unexpected infant death (SUID) varies with altitude in the United States. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)'s Cohort Linked Birth/Infant Death Data Set for births between 2005 and 2010 were examined. County of birth was used to estimate altitude. Logistic regression and Generalized Additive Model (GAM) were used, adjusting for year, mother's race, Hispanic origin, marital status, age, education and smoking, father's age and race, number of prenatal visits, plurality, live birth order, and infant's sex, birthweight and gestation. There were 25,305,778 live births over the 6-year study period. The total number of deaths from SUID in this period were 23,673 (rate?=?0.94/1000 live births). In the logistic regression model there was a small, but statistically significant, increased risk of SUID associated with birth at?>?8000 feet compared with?<?6000 feet (aOR?=?1.93; 95% CI 1.00-3.71). The GAM showed a similar increased risk over 8000 feet, but this was not statistically significant. Only 9245 (0.037%) of mothers gave birth at?>?8000 feet during the study period and 10 deaths (0.042%) were attributed to SUID. The number of SUID deaths at this altitude in the United States is very small (10 deaths in 6 years).
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Timely tracking of health outcomes is difficult in low- and middle-income countries without comprehensive vital registration systems. Community health workers (CHWs) are increasingly collecting vital events data while delivering routine care in low-resource settings. It is necessary, however, to assess whether routine programmatic data collected by CHWs are sufficiently reliable for timely monitoring and evaluation of health interventions. To study this, we assessed the consistency of vital events data recorded by CHWs using two methodologies-routine data collected while delivering an integrated maternal and child health intervention, and data from a birth history census approach at the same site in rural Nepal.<h4>Methods</h4>We linked individual records from routine programmatic data from June 2017 to May 2018 with those from census data, both collected by CHWs at the same site using a mobile platform. We categorized each vital event over a one-year period as 'recorded by both methods,' 'census alone,' or 'programmatic alone.' We further assessed whether vital events data recorded by both methods were classified consistently.<h4>Results</h4>From June 2017 to May 2018, we identified a total of 713 unique births collectively from the census (birth history) and programmatic maternal 'post-delivery' data. Three-fourths of these births (n = 526) were identified by both. There was high consistency in birth location classification among the 526 births identified by both methods. Upon including additional programmatic 'child registry' data, we identified 746 total births, of which 572 births were identified by both census and programmatic methods. Programmatic data (maternal 'post-delivery' and 'child registry' combined) captured more births than census data (723 vs. 595). Both methods consistently classified most infants as 'living,' while infant deaths and stillbirths were largely classified inconsistently or recorded by only one method. Programmatic data identified five infant deaths and five stillbirths not recorded in census data.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our findings suggest that data collected by CHWs from routinely tracking pregnancies, births, and deaths are promising for timely program monitoring and evaluation. Despite some limitations, programmatic data may be more sensitive in detecting vital events than cross-sectional census surveys asking women to recall these events.