Birth Outcome Measures and Infant Mortality

Birth Outcome Measures and Infant Mortality Recent studies have proposed alternative birth outcome measures as means of assessing infant mortality risk; nevertheless, there hasn’t yet been an integrated analysis of these approaches. We review 14 strategies, including various combinations of birth weight, gestational age, fetal growth rate, and Apgar scores—as predictors of early neonatal, late neonatal, and postneonatal mortality, and infant mortality. Using the NCHS linked birth/infant death file for 2001, we construct multivariate logit models and assess the associations between each of the 14 key birth outcome measures and four mortality outcomes. We find that all evaluated birth outcome measures are strong predictors, but Apgar scores are the strongest among all models for all outcomes, independent of birth weight and gestational age. Apgar scores’ predictive power is stronger for Mexican-, white-, and female-infants than for black- and male-infants. Second, all birth outcome measures remain significantly associated with mortality, but their predictive power reduces drastically over time. These findings suggest a rule of thumb for predicting infant mortality odds: when available, Apgar scores should always be included along with birth weight (or LBW status) and gestational age. Additionally, these findings argue for the continued study of low birthweight, gestational age, and Apgar scores as independently salient health outcomes. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Population Research and Policy Review Springer Journals

Birth Outcome Measures and Infant Mortality

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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Subject
Social Sciences; Demography; Sociology, general; Population Economics
ISSN
0167-5923
eISSN
1573-7829
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11113-009-9172-3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Recent studies have proposed alternative birth outcome measures as means of assessing infant mortality risk; nevertheless, there hasn’t yet been an integrated analysis of these approaches. We review 14 strategies, including various combinations of birth weight, gestational age, fetal growth rate, and Apgar scores—as predictors of early neonatal, late neonatal, and postneonatal mortality, and infant mortality. Using the NCHS linked birth/infant death file for 2001, we construct multivariate logit models and assess the associations between each of the 14 key birth outcome measures and four mortality outcomes. We find that all evaluated birth outcome measures are strong predictors, but Apgar scores are the strongest among all models for all outcomes, independent of birth weight and gestational age. Apgar scores’ predictive power is stronger for Mexican-, white-, and female-infants than for black- and male-infants. Second, all birth outcome measures remain significantly associated with mortality, but their predictive power reduces drastically over time. These findings suggest a rule of thumb for predicting infant mortality odds: when available, Apgar scores should always be included along with birth weight (or LBW status) and gestational age. Additionally, these findings argue for the continued study of low birthweight, gestational age, and Apgar scores as independently salient health outcomes.

Journal

Population Research and Policy ReviewSpringer Journals

Published: Jan 8, 2010

References

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