Ethnic variations in mortality in pre-school children in Denmark, 1973-2004

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The objective of the study was to describe ethnic differences in under-five-years mortality in Denmark according to maternal country of origin. We conducted a large registry-linkage study of all singleton live-born children from mothers born in Denmark and from the ten largest migrant groups (n = 1,841,450). Study outcomes were death before the age of 5 years from all causes combined and the most frequent death causes. Results showed that children of mothers of Turkish, Pakistani, Somali and Iraqi origin had an elevated risk of dying before the age of five compared to offspring of mothers born in Denmark, with hazards ratios and 95% confidence intervals of 1.48 (1.31-1.67), 1.97 (1.68-2.32), 1.70 (1.29-2.25), and 1.92 (1.41-2.62), respectively. Ethnic differences were also observed in the underlying causes of death. Children of mothers born in Former Yugoslavia, Lebanon, Norway, Sweden, Iran, and Afghanistan did not differ in under-five-years mortality from ethnic Danish children. Adjustments for household income did not attenuate the risk estimates. In conclusion, we found excess child mortality in some migrant groups, but not in all. The differences could not be explained by socioeconomic status.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Epidemiology
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)527-536
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011

    Research areas

  • Child Mortality, Child, Preschool, Denmark, Female, Humans, Infant, Infant, Newborn, Male, Socioeconomic Factors

ID: 40261162