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A comparison of all-cause and cause-specific mortality by household socioeconomic status across seven INDEPTH network health and demographic surveillance systems in sub-Saharan Africa
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2019 (English)In: Global Health Action, ISSN 1654-9716, E-ISSN 1654-9880, Vol. 12, no 1, article id 1608013Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: Understanding socioeconomic disparities in all-cause and cause-specific mortality can help inform prevention and treatment strategies.

Objectives: To quantify cause-specific mortality rates by socioeconomic status across seven health and demographic surveillance systems (HDSS) in five countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, and Nigeria) in the INDEPTH Network in sub-Saharan Africa.

Methods: We linked demographic residence data with household survey data containing living standards and education information we used to create a poverty index. Person-years lived and deaths between 2003 and 2016 (periods varied by HDSS) were stratified in each HDSS by age, sex, year, and number of deprivations on the poverty index (0-8). Causes of death were assigned to each death using the InterVA-4 model based on responses to verbal autopsy questionnaires. We estimated rate ratios between socioeconomic groups (2-4 and 5-8 deprivations on our poverty index compared to 0-2 deprivations) for specific causes of death and calculated life expectancy for the deprivation groups.

Results: Our pooled data contained almost 3.5 million person-years of observation and 25,038 deaths. All-cause mortality rates were higher among people in households with 5-8 deprivations on our poverty index compared to 0-2 deprivations, controlling for age, sex, and year (rate ratios ranged 1.42 to 2.06 across HDSS sites). The poorest group had consistently higher death rates in communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional conditions (rate ratios ranged 1.34-4.05) and for non-communicable diseases in several sites (1.14-1.93). The disparities in mortality between 5-8 deprivation groups and 0-2 deprivation groups led to lower life expectancy in the higher-deprivation groups by six years in all sites and more than 10 years in five sites.

Conclusions: We show large disparities in mortality on the basis of socioeconomic status across seven HDSS in sub-Saharan Africa due to disparities in communicable disease mortality and from non-communicable diseases in some sites. Life expectancy gaps between socioeconomic groups within sites were similar to the gaps between high-income and lower-middle-income countries. Prevention and treatment efforts can benefit from understanding subpopulations facing higher mortality from specific conditions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taylor & Francis Group, 2019. Vol. 12, no 1, article id 1608013
Keywords [en]
Cause of death, verbal autopsy, non-communicable disease, life expectancy
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-159639DOI: 10.1080/16549716.2019.1608013ISI: 000468041100001PubMedID: 31092155OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-159639DiVA, id: diva2:1319776
Available from: 2019-06-03 Created: 2019-06-03 Last updated: 2019-06-03Bibliographically approved

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