Child Mortality Attributable to Multiple Risk Factors

Majid Ezzati, Harvard University
Angelica Sousa, World Health Organization (WHO)
Cecilia Vidal, World Health Organization (WHO)
Margaret Hogan, World Health Organization (WHO)

The contributions of risk factors (e.g. undernutrition and poor water, sanitation, and hygiene) to child mortality have been extensively documented. Because of paucity of data on multiple risk factor correlations, estimates have assumed that risks are uniformly distributed in a population and the distribution of the health effects of risk factors has not been studied. In this paper, we estimate total and equity effects of exposure to multiple childhood mortality risk factors, accounting for correlation between multiple risks and mortality using the Demographic and Health Surveys. This analysis takes an important step to answering questions on: i) reductions in child mortality if exposure to multiple childhood risks were reduced; ii) effects of risk factor reduction on child mortality inequalities within and between countries; and iii) expected reductions in child mortality following partial (50%) reduction in exposure which fail to reach the poorest and highest-risk sectors of the society.

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Presented in Session 165: Child Health in Developing Countries