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Place of Residence and Inequities in Adverse Pregnancy and Birth Outcomes in India
Authors: Deepa Dongarwar, and Hamisu M. Salihu
Source: International Journal of MCH and AIDS, 9(1): 53-63; DOI: 10.21106/ijma.291
Topic(s): Abortion
Health equity
Infant mortality
Maternal health
Neonatal mortality
Pregnancy outcomes
Country: Asia
Published: FEB 2020
Abstract: Background and Objectives: India, the second most populous country in the world, has two-thirds of its population living in rural areas. Rural women in developing countries like India have worse access to healthcare compared to their urban counterparts. We examined the association between place of residence and various pregnancy and birth outcomes among Indian women. Methods: We analyzed data from the 2015-2016 India Demographic and Health Survey (DHS). Sociodemographic and reproductive health-related information were obtained from Indian women of reproductive age. We calculated the prevalence of selected pregnancy and birth outcomes among the study participants. We conducted adjusted survey log binomial regression to determine the level of association between place of residence and various pregnancy and birth outcomes. Results: About 66.4% of the survey responders resided in villages. When adjusted for covariates, rural women had increased likelihood of experiencing miscarriage, stillbirth, early neonatal, late neonatal and infant mortality as compared to urban women. Urban women had 22% higher likelihood (PR = 1.22, 95% CI=1.10-1.35) of having an abortion as compared to rural dwellers. Conclusion and Global Health Implications: Despite India’s extensive efforts to improve maternal and reproductive health, wide geographical disparities exist between its urban and rural population. Interventions at various socio-ecologic and cultural levels, along with improved health literacy, access to improved health care and sanitation need attention when formulating and implementing policies and programs for equitable progress towards improved maternal and reproductive health. Key words: • India • Maternal and reproductive health • Pregnancy outcomes • Birth outcomes • Miscarriage • Stillbirth • Neonatal mortality • Infant mortality • Abortion • Health equity Copyright © 2020 Dongarwar and Salihu. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.