Table 5

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

Interval ≥60 months

Interval ≥72 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)

0.70 (0.54, 0.92)

0.82 (0.62, 1.08)

0.78 (0.58, 1.05)

0.84 (0.60, 1.18)

Asia (n=8)

0.60 (0.44, 0.81)

0.72 (0.38, 1.36)

0.56 (0.40, 0.77)

0.57 (0.32, 1.02)

Americas n = 5)

0.67 (0.41, 1.10)*

0.58 (0.31, 1.09)*

0.79 (0.35, 1.79)*

0.85 (0.32, 2.24)*

Other (n = 6)

1.13 (0.39, 3.30)

1.17 (0.38, 3.64)***

1.15 (0.33, 4.06)***

1.54 (0.31, 7.60)****

All (n=47)

0.69 (0.57, 0.84)

0.76 (0.61, 0.94)

0.75 (0.60, 0.93)

0.76 (0.58, 0.98)


Outcome: Under-5 Mortality


Africa (n=28)

0.52 (0.44, 0.61)

0.58 (0.48, 0.70)

0.51 (0.42, 0.62)

0.58 (0.45, 0.75)

Asia (n=8)

0.49 (0.36, 0.68)

0.52 (0.36, 0.74)

0.38 (0.29, 0.49)

0.40 (0.27, 0.59)

Americas n = 5)

0.59 (0.44, 0.78)

0.55 (0.35, 0.85)

0.62 (0.42, 0.91)

0.82 (0.47, 1.43)

Other (n = 6)

0.78 (0.49, 1.25)

1.26 (0.59, 2.69)**

0.71 (0.33, 1.53)

4.18 (0.93, 18.84)****

All (n=47)

0.53 (0.47, 0.61)

0.58 (0.49, 0.68)

0.50 (0.43, 0.59)

0.59 (0.47, 0.73)


*n=5, **n=3, ***n=2, ****n=1

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