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Table 5 Meta-analyzed odds ratios for long birth intervals with neonatal and under-5 mortality as outcomes, comparing all children versus birth order 2-4 children of high fertility mothers

From: Exploring the association between short/long preceding birth intervals and child mortality: using reference birth interval children of the same mother as comparison

  Interval ≥60 months Interval ≥72 months
Region (number of countries) High fertility OR (95% CI) High fertility, limited to birth order 2-4 OR (95% CI) High fertility OR (95% CI) High fertility, limited to birth order 2-4 OR (95% CI)
Outcome: Neonatal Mortality
Africa (n=28) 0.70 (0.54, 0.92) 0.82 (0.62, 1.08) 0.78 (0.58, 1.05) 0.84 (0.60, 1.18)
Asia (n=8) 0.60 (0.44, 0.81) 0.72 (0.38, 1.36) 0.56 (0.40, 0.77) 0.57 (0.32, 1.02)
Americas n = 5) 0.67 (0.41, 1.10)* 0.58 (0.31, 1.09)* 0.79 (0.35, 1.79)* 0.85 (0.32, 2.24)*
Other (n = 6) 1.13 (0.39, 3.30) 1.17 (0.38, 3.64)*** 1.15 (0.33, 4.06)*** 1.54 (0.31, 7.60)****
All (n=47) 0.69 (0.57, 0.84) 0.76 (0.61, 0.94) 0.75 (0.60, 0.93) 0.76 (0.58, 0.98)
Outcome: Under-5 Mortality
Africa (n=28) 0.52 (0.44, 0.61) 0.58 (0.48, 0.70) 0.51 (0.42, 0.62) 0.58 (0.45, 0.75)
Asia (n=8) 0.49 (0.36, 0.68) 0.52 (0.36, 0.74) 0.38 (0.29, 0.49) 0.40 (0.27, 0.59)
Americas n = 5) 0.59 (0.44, 0.78) 0.55 (0.35, 0.85) 0.62 (0.42, 0.91) 0.82 (0.47, 1.43)
Other (n = 6) 0.78 (0.49, 1.25) 1.26 (0.59, 2.69)** 0.71 (0.33, 1.53) 4.18 (0.93, 18.84)****
All (n=47) 0.53 (0.47, 0.61) 0.58 (0.49, 0.68) 0.50 (0.43, 0.59) 0.59 (0.47, 0.73)
  1. *n=5, **n=3, ***n=2, ****n=1
  2. Reference birth interval: 24-<60 months
  3. Completed fertility: woman’s total fertility at the end of her reproductive period