The impact of economic recession on maternal and infant mortality: lessons from history

Ensor, Tim; Cooper, Stephanie; Davidson, Lisa; Fitzmaurice, Ann; Graham, Wendy J.
January 2010
BMC Public Health;2010, Vol. 10, p727
Academic Journal
Background: The effect of the recent world recession on population health has featured heavily in recent international meetings. Maternal health is a particular concern given that many countries were already falling short of their MDG targets for 2015. Methods: We utilise 20th century time series data from 14 high and middle income countries to investigate associations between previous economic recession and boom periods on maternal and infant outcomes (1936 to 2005). A first difference logarithmic model is used to investigate the association between short run fluctuations in GDP per capita (individual incomes) and changes in health outcomes. Separate models are estimated for four separate time periods. Results: The results suggest a modest but significant association between maternal and infant mortality and economic growth for early periods (1936 to 1965) but not more recent periods. Individual country data display markedly different patterns of response to economic changes. Japan and Canada were vulnerable to economic shocks in the post war period. In contrast, mortality rates in countries such as the UK and Italy and particularly the US appear little affected by economic fluctuations. Conclusions: The data presented suggest that recessions do have a negative association with maternal and infant outcomes particularly in earlier stages of a country's development although the effects vary widely across different systems. Almost all of the 20 least wealthy countries have suffered a reduction of 10% or more in GDP per capita in at least one of the last five decades. The challenge for today's policy makers is the design and implementation of mechanisms that protect vulnerable populations from the effects of fluctuating national income.


Related Articles

  • Determinants of skilled attendance for delivery in Northwest Ethiopia: a community based nested case control study. Mengesha, Zelalem Birhanu; Biks, Gashaw Andargie; Ayele, Tadesse Awoke; Tessema, Gizachew Assefa; Koye, Digsu Negesse // BMC Public Health;2013, Vol. 13 Issue 1, p1 

    Background: The fifth Millennium Development Goal calls for a reduction of maternal mortality ratio by 75% between 1990 and 2015. A key indicator to measure this goal is the proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel. The maternal mortality ratio of Ethiopia is 676 deaths per...

  • Bacterial endocarditis complicating pregnancy: case report and systematic review of the literature. Campuzano, Katie; Roqué, Henry; Bolnick, Alan; Leo, Mauro V.; Campbell, Winston A. // Archives of Gynecology & Obstetrics;Oct2003, Vol. 268 Issue 4, p251 

    Introduction. Infectious endocarditis is a rare life-threatening complication of pregnancy. We report a pregnancy complicated by a 3.5-cm infected vegetation of the tricuspid valve initially presenting as unilateral hip pain as well as systematic review of this entity. Sources. A MEDLINE review...

  • Saving mothers and babies is number one priority.  // Dissector;Jun2015, Vol. 43 Issue 1, p8 

    No abstract available.

  • Pilot scheme asks GPs to give more detail in sickness certificates. O'Dowd, Adrian // BMJ: British Medical Journal (International Edition);3/1/2008, Vol. 336 Issue 7642, p468 

    The article focuses on an investigation into the safety of childbirth practices in Great Britain which was conducted by the British Academy. The investigation found that most births in the country are safe despite growing pressures on the country's maternity services, and that stillbirths,...

  • Inquiry finds lack of systematic approach to safety creates risks during childbirth. Mayor, Susan // BMJ: British Medical Journal (International Edition);3/1/2008, Vol. 336 Issue 7642, p469 

    The article focuses on an investigation into the safety of childbirth practices in Great Britain which was conducted by the British Academy. The investigation found that most births in the country are safe despite growing pressures on the country's maternity services, and that stillbirths,...

  • Canada's pregnancy-related mortality rates: doing well but room for improvement. Verstraeten, Barbara S. E.; Mijovic-Kondejewski, Jane; Takeda, Jun; Tanaka, Satomi; Olson, David M. // Clinical & Investigative Medicine;Feb2015, Vol. 38 Issue 1, pE15 

    Purpose: Canada's perinatal, infant and maternal mortality rates were examined and compared with other Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. The type and the quality of the available data and best practices in several OECD countries were evaluated. Source: A...

  • Incidence, determinants and perinatal outcomes of near miss maternal morbidity in Ile-Ife Nigeria: a prospective case control study. Adeoye, Ikeola A.; Onayade, Adedeji A.; Fatusi, Adesegun O. // BMC Pregnancy & Childbirth;2013, Vol. 13 Issue 1, p1 

    Background: Maternal mortality ratio in Nigeria is one of the highest in the world. Near misses occur in larger numbers than maternal deaths hence they allow for a more comprehensive analysis of risk factors and determinants as well as outcomes of life-threatening complications in pregnancy. The...

  • C5a Enhances Dysregulated Inflammatory and Angiogenic Responses to Malaria In Vitro: Potential Implications for Placental Malaria. Conroy, Andrea; Serghides, Lena; Finney, Constance; Owino, Simon O.; Kumar, Sanjeev; Gowda, D. Channe; Liles, W. Conrad; Moore, Julie M.; Kain, Kevin C. // PLoS ONE;2009, Vol. 4 Issue 3, p1 

    Background: Placental malaria (PM) is a leading cause of maternal and infant mortality. Although the accumulation of parasitized erythrocytes (PEs) and monocytes within the placenta is thought to contribute to the pathophysiology of PM, the molecular mechanisms underlying PM remain unclear....

  • Comment on the Evers et al., (2010). Perinatal mortality and severe morbidity in low and high risk term pregnancies in the Netherlands. Gilkison, Andrea; Crowther, Susan; Hunter, Marion // New Zealand College of Midwives Journal;Apr2011, Issue 44, p22 

    In the article the authors comment on a prospective cohort study conducted by A. Evers and colleagues to compare the incidence of perinatal mortality and severe perinatal morbidity between low risk women and high risk term pregnancies in the Netherlands and to establish whether the two tiered,...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics