Academic journal article International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health

Maternal Stature Linked to Under-Five Mortality

Academic journal article International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health

Maternal Stature Linked to Under-Five Mortality

Article excerpt

A woman's height is inversely associated with her child's risk of dying before the age of five and with indicators of substandard growth and weight gain, according to an analysis of data from 109 Demographic and Health Surveys conducted between 1991 and 2008 in 54 low-to middle-income countries. (1) Of the pooled sample of 2.7 million children aged 0-59 months, 312,553 (12%) died by the age of five; country-specific child mortality rates ranged from 3% in Jordan to 25% in Niger. In adjusted analyses, every one-centimeter increase in maternal height was associated with a decreased risk of under-five mortality (relative risk, 0.99). This association was stronger among the youngest children than among the oldest: The relative risk of death associated with each one-centimeter increase in maternal height was 0.98 for those younger than one month versus 0.99 for those 12-59 months old. Compared with the risk of child mortality among the tallest mothers (those whose height was at least 160 cm), the risk among other women increased as their height decreased, from 1. …

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