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Springerplus. 2013 Jun 27;2:284. doi: 10.1186/2193-1801-2-284. eCollection 2013.

Maternal factors contributing to under-five mortality at birth order 1 to 5 in India: a comprehensive multivariate study.

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1
Cardiology Research Centre, Heart Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), Doha, Qatar.

Abstract

The objective of the study is to assess maternal factors contributing to under-five mortality at birth order 1 to 5 in India. Data for this study was derived from the children's record of the 2007 India National Family Health Survey, which is a nationally representative cross-sectional household survey. Data is segregated according to birth order 1 to 5 to assess mother's occupation, Mother's education, child's gender, Mother's age, place of residence, wealth index, mother's anaemia level, prenatal care, assistance at delivery , antenatal care, place of delivery and other maternal factors contributing to under-five mortality. Out of total 51555 births, analysis is restricted to 16567 children of first birth order, 14409 of second birth order, 8318 of third birth order, 5021 of fourth birth order and 3034 of fifth birth order covering 92% of the total births taken place 0-59 months prior to survey. Mother's average age in years for birth orders 1 to 5 are 23.7, 25.8, 27.4, 29 and 31 years, respectively. Most mothers whose children died are Hindu, with no formal education, severely anaemic and working in the agricultural sector. In multivariate logistic models, maternal education, wealth index and breastfeeding are protective factors across all birth orders. In birth order model 1 and 2, mother's occupation is a significant risk factor. In birth order models 2 to 5, previous birth interval of lesser than 24 months is a risk factor. Child's gender is a risk factor in birth order 1 and 5. Information regarding complications in pregnancy and prenatal care act as protective factors in birth order 1, place of delivery and immunization in birth order 2, and child size at birth in birth order 4. Prediction models demonstrate high discrimination that indicates that our models fit the data. The study has policy implications such as enhancing the Information, Education and Communication network for mothers, especially at higher birth orders, in order to reduce under-five mortality. The study emphasises the need of developing interventions to address the issues of anaemia, mothers working in the agricultural sector and improving relevant literacy among mothers.

KEYWORDS:

Birth order; Demographic and health survey (DHS); India; Under-five mortality

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