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Infant mortality by cause: A comparison of underlying and multiple cause designations

Mortalité infantile par cause: Une comparaison des causes concomitantes et multiples de décès

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European Journal of Population / Revue européenne de Démographie Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Through the use of unique data for the 1980–1982 birth cohorts in the State of Florida, USA, the present analysis examines the extent of variability in the social, economic, and demographic characteristics of decedents when grouped by detailed cause of infant death, across four models for identifying cause of death. The analysis first compares cause-of-death-specific infant, neonatal, and postneonatal mortality between each of the four cause-of-death models. Next, interest shifts to an examination of the variability among decedents, specific to cause of death, in a range of background, proximate, and immediate determinants of infant health and survival. Variability is evident in cause-specific mortality rates as well as in decedent characteristics across the cause-of-death models. These findings suggest that more attention be given to the mode of identifying cause of death in studies of infant mortality.


Cette analyse porte sur la variabilité des caractéristiques sociales économiques et démographiques des décédés, regroupées par cause détaillée de mortalité infantile, en utilisant quatre modèles pour identifier la cause de décès. On utilise ici une source unique de données portant sur les générations 1980–1982 nées dans l'Etat de Floride aux Etats-Unis. L'analyse compare d'abord les causes spécifiques de décès pour la mortalité infantile, néonatale et postnatale entre chacun des modèles décrivant les causes de décès. L'accent est ensuite mis sur la variabilité propre à chaque cause de décès en fonction d'une série de facteurs d'arrière plan, plus proches ou immédiats, facteurs de la santé et de la survie de l'enfant. La variabilité des taux de mortalité par cause aussi bien que par caractéristique des décédés selon les modèles décrivant les causes de décès, est manifeste. Ces résultats plaident en faveur d'une plus grande attention à la façon d'identifier les causes de décès, dans les travaux sur la mortalité infantile.

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Revision of a paper prepared for presentation at the European Population Conference, June 1987, Jyväskylä, Finland.

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Nam, C.B., Eberstein, I.W., Deeb, L.C. et al. Infant mortality by cause: A comparison of underlying and multiple cause designations. Eur J Population 5, 45–70 (1989).

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