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  1. Wang H, Liddell CA, Coates MM, Mooney MD, Levitz CE, Schumacher AE, et al.
    Lancet, 2014 Sep 13;384(9947):957-79.
    PMID: 24797572 DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60497-9
    BACKGROUND: Remarkable financial and political efforts have been focused on the reduction of child mortality during the past few decades. Timely measurements of levels and trends in under-5 mortality are important to assess progress towards the Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG 4) target of reduction of child mortality by two thirds from 1990 to 2015, and to identify models of success.

    METHODS: We generated updated estimates of child mortality in early neonatal (age 0-6 days), late neonatal (7-28 days), postneonatal (29-364 days), childhood (1-4 years), and under-5 (0-4 years) age groups for 188 countries from 1970 to 2013, with more than 29,000 survey, census, vital registration, and sample registration datapoints. We used Gaussian process regression with adjustments for bias and non-sampling error to synthesise the data for under-5 mortality for each country, and a separate model to estimate mortality for more detailed age groups. We used explanatory mixed effects regression models to assess the association between under-5 mortality and income per person, maternal education, HIV child death rates, secular shifts, and other factors. To quantify the contribution of these different factors and birth numbers to the change in numbers of deaths in under-5 age groups from 1990 to 2013, we used Shapley decomposition. We used estimated rates of change between 2000 and 2013 to construct under-5 mortality rate scenarios out to 2030.

    FINDINGS: We estimated that 6·3 million (95% UI 6·0-6·6) children under-5 died in 2013, a 64% reduction from 17·6 million (17·1-18·1) in 1970. In 2013, child mortality rates ranged from 152·5 per 1000 livebirths (130·6-177·4) in Guinea-Bissau to 2·3 (1·8-2·9) per 1000 in Singapore. The annualised rates of change from 1990 to 2013 ranged from -6·8% to 0·1%. 99 of 188 countries, including 43 of 48 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, had faster decreases in child mortality during 2000-13 than during 1990-2000. In 2013, neonatal deaths accounted for 41·6% of under-5 deaths compared with 37·4% in 1990. Compared with 1990, in 2013, rising numbers of births, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, led to 1·4 million more child deaths, and rising income per person and maternal education led to 0·9 million and 2·2 million fewer deaths, respectively. Changes in secular trends led to 4·2 million fewer deaths. Unexplained factors accounted for only -1% of the change in child deaths. In 30 developing countries, decreases since 2000 have been faster than predicted attributable to income, education, and secular shift alone.

    INTERPRETATION: Only 27 developing countries are expected to achieve MDG 4. Decreases since 2000 in under-5 mortality rates are accelerating in many developing countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. The Millennium Declaration and increased development assistance for health might have been a factor in faster decreases in some developing countries. Without further accelerated progress, many countries in west and central Africa will still have high levels of under-5 mortality in 2030.

    FUNDING: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, US Agency for International Development.

  2. Kassebaum NJ, Bertozzi-Villa A, Coggeshall MS, Shackelford KA, Steiner C, Heuton KR, et al.
    Lancet, 2014 Sep 13;384(9947):980-1004.
    PMID: 24797575 DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60696-6
    BACKGROUND: The fifth Millennium Development Goal (MDG 5) established the goal of a 75% reduction in the maternal mortality ratio (MMR; number of maternal deaths per 100,000 livebirths) between 1990 and 2015. We aimed to measure levels and track trends in maternal mortality, the key causes contributing to maternal death, and timing of maternal death with respect to delivery.

    METHODS: We used robust statistical methods including the Cause of Death Ensemble model (CODEm) to analyse a database of data for 7065 site-years and estimate the number of maternal deaths from all causes in 188 countries between 1990 and 2013. We estimated the number of pregnancy-related deaths caused by HIV on the basis of a systematic review of the relative risk of dying during pregnancy for HIV-positive women compared with HIV-negative women. We also estimated the fraction of these deaths aggravated by pregnancy on the basis of a systematic review. To estimate the numbers of maternal deaths due to nine different causes, we identified 61 sources from a systematic review and 943 site-years of vital registration data. We also did a systematic review of reports about the timing of maternal death, identifying 142 sources to use in our analysis. We developed estimates for each country for 1990-2013 using Bayesian meta-regression. We estimated 95% uncertainty intervals (UIs) for all values.

    FINDINGS: 292,982 (95% UI 261,017-327,792) maternal deaths occurred in 2013, compared with 376,034 (343,483-407,574) in 1990. The global annual rate of change in the MMR was -0·3% (-1·1 to 0·6) from 1990 to 2003, and -2·7% (-3·9 to -1·5) from 2003 to 2013, with evidence of continued acceleration. MMRs reduced consistently in south, east, and southeast Asia between 1990 and 2013, but maternal deaths increased in much of sub-Saharan Africa during the 1990s. 2070 (1290-2866) maternal deaths were related to HIV in 2013, 0·4% (0·2-0·6) of the global total. MMR was highest in the oldest age groups in both 1990 and 2013. In 2013, most deaths occurred intrapartum or postpartum. Causes varied by region and between 1990 and 2013. We recorded substantial variation in the MMR by country in 2013, from 956·8 (685·1-1262·8) in South Sudan to 2·4 (1·6-3·6) in Iceland.

    INTERPRETATION: Global rates of change suggest that only 16 countries will achieve the MDG 5 target by 2015. Accelerated reductions since the Millennium Declaration in 2000 coincide with increased development assistance for maternal, newborn, and child health. Setting of targets and associated interventions for after 2015 will need careful consideration of regions that are making slow progress, such as west and central Africa.

    FUNDING: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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