Table 3

Meta-analyzed odds ratios for short birth intervals with neonatal and under-5 mortality as outcomes, comparing all children versus birth order 2-4 children of high completed fertility mothers

Interval < 18 months

Interval < 24 months


Region (number of countries)

High fertility OR (95% CI)

High fertility, limited to birth order 2-4 OR (95% CI)

High fertility OR (95% CI)

High fertility, limited to birth order 2-4 OR (95% CI)


Outcome: Neonatal Mortality


Africa (n=28)

1.80 (1.66, 1.94)

1.16 (1.02, 1.33)

1.59 (1.49, 1.69)

1.21 (1.11, 1.33)

Asia (n=8)

1.89 (1.61, 2.22)

1.52 (1.17, 1.97)

1.71 (1.59, 1.85)

1.46 (1.27, 1.67)

Americas n = 5)

2.24 (1.86, 2.70)

1.78 (1.35, 2.33)

1.97 (1.69, 2.28)

1.72 (1.40, 2.10)

Other (n = 6)

2.59 (1.71, 3.94)

2.18 (1.05, 4.54)

2.01 (1.28, 3.18)

1.78 (0.92, 3.45)

All (n=47)

1.91 (1.77, 2.05)

1.36 (1.19, 1.55)

1.67 (1.58, 1.77)

1.34 (1.23, 1.46)


Outcome: Under-5 Mortality


Africa (n=28)

1.59 (1.47, 1.71)

1.15 (1.03, 1.28)

1.42 (1.33, 1.52)

1.18 (1.10, 1.27)

Asia (n=8)

1.77 (1.50, 2.09)

1.35 (1.10, 1.65)

1.61 (1.46, 1.76)

1.33 (1.15, 1.56)

Americas n = 5)

1.92 (1.72, 2.14)

1.63 (1.37, 1.94)

1.73 (1.59, 1.89)

1.55 (1.37, 1.75)

Other (n = 6)

2.12 (1.46, 3.08)

1.48 (0.82, 2.66)

1.74 (1.27, 2.37)

1.29 (0.84, 2.00)

All (n=47)

1.71 (1.59, 1.84)

1.28 (1.15, 1.42)

1.51 (1.43, 1.61)

1.27 (1.18, 1.36)


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