Table 2

Meta-analyzed odds ratios for short birth intervals with neonatal and under-5 mortality as outcomes, stratified by mother's completed fertility

Region (number of countries)

Interval < 18 months

Interval < 24 months


Low Fertility OR (95% CI)

High fertility OR (95% CI)

Low Fertility OR (95% CI)

High fertility OR (95% CI)


Outcome: Neonatal Mortality


Africa (n=28)

0.85 (0.53, 1.34)

1.80 (1.66, 1.94)

0.87 (0.65, 1.17)

1.59 (1.49, 1.69)

Asia (n=8)

1.20 (0.91, 1.57)

1.89 (1.61, 2.22)

1.23 (0.94, 1.63)

1.71 (1.59, 1.85)

Americas n = 5)

1.56 (0.84, 2.89)

2.24 (1.86, 2.70)

1.15 (0.77, 1.71)

1.97 (1.69, 2.28)

Other (n = 6)

0.86 (0.31, 2.35)

2.59 (1.71, 3.94)

0.71 (0.35, 1.43)

2.01 (1.28, 3.18)

All (n=47)

1.07 (0.84, 1.37)

1.91 (1.77, 2.05)

1.06 (0.90, 1.25)

1.67 (1.58, 1.77)


Outcome: Under-5 Mortality


Africa (n=28)

0.86 (0.64, 1.14)

1.59 (1.47, 1.71)

1.06 (0.89, 1.27)

1.42 (1.33, 1.52)

Asia (n=8)

1.28 (1.07, 1.55)

1.77 (1.50, 2.09)

1.05 (0.82, 1.35)

1.61 (1.46, 1.76)

Americas n = 5)

1.72 (1.18, 2.52)

1.92 (1.72, 2.14)

1.48 (1.08, 2.01)

1.73 (1.59, 1.89)

Other (n = 6)

1.74 (0.99, 3.05)

2.12 (1.46, 3.08)

1.39 (0.89, 2.16)

1.74 (1.27, 2.37)

All (n=47)

1.20 (0.99, 1.44)

1.71 (1.59, 1.84)

1.17 (1.03, 1.32)

1.51 (1.43, 1.61)


Reference birth interval: 24-<60 months

Completed fertility: woman’s total fertility at the end of her reproductive period

Kozuki and Walker BMC Public Health 2013 13(Suppl 3):S6   doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-S3-S6

Open Data