Volume 14 - Article 18 | Pages 429-452

Neonatal mortality in the developing world

By Kenneth Hill, Yoonjoung Choi

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Date received:16 Aug 2005
Date published:23 May 2006
Word count:3523
Keywords:birth history, early neonatal mortality rate, heaping, late neonatal mortality rate, mortality, neonatal mortality


This paper examines age patterns and trends of early and late neonatal mortality in developing countries, using birth history data from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS). Data quality was assessed both by examination of internal consistency and by comparison with historic age patterns of neonatal mortality from England and Wales. The median neonatal mortality rate (NMR) across 108 nationally-representative surveys was 33 per 1000 live births. NMR averaged an annual decline of 1.7 % in the 1980s and 1990s. Declines have been faster for late than for early neonatal mortality and slower in Sub-Saharan Africa than in other regions. Age patterns of neonatal mortality were comparable with those of historical data, indicating no significant underreporting of early neonatal deaths in DHS birth histories.

Author's Affiliation

Kenneth Hill - Harvard University, United States of America [Email]
Yoonjoung Choi - Johns Hopkins University, United States of America [Email]

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