Socioeconomic Determinants of Exposure to Multiple Risk Factors for Child Mortality

Emmanuela E. Gakidou, Harvard University
Margaret Hogan, World Health Organization (WHO)
Cecilia Vidal, World Health Organization (WHO)
Majid Ezzati, Harvard University

Child mortality has received renewed attention as a part of the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The contributions of specific risk factors (e.g. undernutrition and poor water, sanitation, and hygiene) to child mortality have been documented in different world regions. However, many childhood deaths are caused by multiple risk factors which may be concurrently higher in disadvantaged groups. The socioeconomic patterns of multi-risk exposure (i.e. causes) and mortality (i.e. outcomes) have not been adequately and comparatively studied. Using data from the Demographic and Health Surveys, this paper presents an analysis of socioeconomic gradients of childhood mortality and its major risk factors for 55 countries. We also provide a detailed analysis of similarities and differences of such gradients within and between countries and regions. This is an important step in considering how wealth or income may interact with other factors, from geography to policy, to affect child survival.

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Presented in Session 122: SES and Child Mortality