Domestic violence and early childhood mortality in rural India: Evidence from prospective data

Michael A. Koenig, Rob Stephenson, Rajib Acharya, Lindsay Barrick, Saifuddin Ahmed, Michelle Hindin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: To investigate the relationship between domestic violence and perinatal, neonatal and infant mortality in rural India using prospective data. Methods: The study is based upon a prospective follow-up study of a cohort selected from the 1998-99 National Family and Health Survey-2 (NSFS-2), which was carried out in 2002-03 in four Indian states. Data for a total of 3909 birth outcomes that took place during this 4-year period were analysed using bivariate analysis and hazards regression analysis to control for truncated observations and possible other confounding factors. Findings: After controlling for other potentially confounding factors, births to mothers who experienced two or more episodes of recent domestic violence experienced higher perinatal [hazards ratio (HR) = 1.85, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.12, 2.79] and neonatal (HR = 1.62, 95% CI = 1.11, 2.53) mortality, relative to births to women whose mothers reported no violence. Overall, these births to women who experienced violence had 68% higher risk of infant mortality compared with the 'no violence' group. Births to women who experienced a single episode of violence were not at higher risk of mortality. Conclusions: Our study provides additional and more conclusive evidence on the importance of domestic violence for early childhood mortality in low-resource settings such as rural India. The results argue for a greater focus upon such violence within current child survival programmes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberdyq066
Pages (from-to)825-833
Number of pages9
JournalInternational journal of epidemiology
Volume39
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 5 2010

Keywords

  • Domestic violence
  • Hazards regression analysis
  • Infant mortality
  • Neonatal mortality
  • Perinatal mortality
  • Rural India

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology

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