Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Child brides at funerals

Date:
October 28, 2013
Source:
University of California - San Diego
Summary:
Having children early and in rapid succession are major factors fueling high infant mortality rates in the South Asian countries of Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan where one in 14 births to young mothers ends with the death of the child within the first year.

A young mother and her child are shown.
Credit: UC San Diego School of Medicine

Having children early and in rapid succession are major factors fueling high infant mortality rates in the South Asian countries of Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan where one in 14 births to young mothers ends with the death of the child within the first year, say researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

Writing in the current online issue of the International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics, Anita Raj, PhD, professor of medicine and director of the Center on Gender Equity and Health at UC San Diego, and colleagues said younger maternal age (under 18 years old) and short intervals between pregnancies (under 24 months) accounted for roughly one-quarter of the infant mortality rate among young mothers in India and Pakistan, a percentage that represents almost 200,000 infant deaths in 2012 for those two nations alone.

In Bangladesh, only the short inter-pregnancy interval was linked to infant mortality while in Nepal, only young motherhood was associated with infant death.

Infant mortality is a significant public health issue in South Asia. According to United Nations data, the infant mortality rate worldwide is 49.4 deaths per 1,000 live births. In Pakistan, it is 70.90; India, 52.91; Bangladesh, 48.98 and Nepal, 38.71. By comparison, the infant mortality rate in the United States is 6.81 and just 1.92 in Singapore, lowest in the world.

The new infant mortality findings are based upon analyses of national demographic and health surveys taken in the four countries. Raj noted the comparisons may be somewhat skewed by imperfect comparisons.

"The data in India and Pakistan were collected four to five years prior to the data in Bangladesh and Nepal," she said, "and therefore represent different cross-sections of time. In addition, both India and Pakistan have higher burdens of infant mortality -- in absolute and relative terms -- than Bangladesh or Nepal."

But Raj said the findings still underscore concerns about the social consequences of child marriage and young motherhood. In a study published last year, she and colleagues reported that more than 10 million girls under the age of 19 marry each year worldwide, usually under the force of local tradition and social custom. Almost half of these compulsory marriages occur in South Asia.

Childhood marriage, which mostly involves girls, is widely condemned as a violation of individual human rights. Numerous studies have found that child brides are more likely to die young, suffer from serious health problems, live in poverty and remain illiterate.

"There is inadequate recognition that issues like early marriage of girls are primary drivers of problems like infant mortality in the region," said Raj. Bangladesh and Nepal have made measurable improvements in some areas, she said, such as greater access to education for girls and to healthcare, but other issues remain persistently problematic, such as contraception use.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - San Diego. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Anita Raj, Lotus McDougal, Melanie L.A. Rusch. Effects of young maternal age and short interpregnancy interval on infant mortality in South Asia. International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.ijgo.2013.07.027

Cite This Page:

University of California - San Diego. "Child brides at funerals." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131028135037.htm>.
University of California - San Diego. (2013, October 28). Child brides at funerals. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131028135037.htm
University of California - San Diego. "Child brides at funerals." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131028135037.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Science & Society News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Drone King Says the Revolution Depends on Regulators

China's Drone King Says the Revolution Depends on Regulators

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Comparing his current crop of drones to early personal computers, DJI founder Frank Wang says the industry is poised for a growth surge - assuming regulators in more markets clear it for takeoff. Jon Gordon reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins