Author(s): Lawn J, Shibuya K, Stein C
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: Fewer than 3\% of 4 million annual neonatal deaths occur in countries with reliable vital registration (VR) data. Global estimates for asphyxia-related neonatal deaths vary from 0.7 to 1.2 million. Estimates for intrapartum stillbirths are not available. We aimed to estimate the numbers of intrapartum-related neonatal deaths and intrapartum stillbirths in the year 2000. METHODS: Sources of data on neonatal death included: vital registration (VR) data on neonatal death from countries with full (> 90\%) VR coverage (48 countries, n = 97,297); studies identified through literature searches (> 4000 abstracts) and meeting inclusion criteria (46 populations, 30 countries, n = 12,355). A regression model was fitted to cause-specific proportionate mortality data from VR and the literature. Predicted cause-specific proportions were applied to the number of neonatal deaths by country, and summed to a global total. Intrapartum stillbirths were estimated using median cause-specific mortality rate by country (73 populations, 52 countries, n = 46,779) or the subregional median in the absence of country data. FINDINGS: Intrapartum-related neonatal deaths were estimated at 0.904 million (uncertainty 0.65-1.17), equivalent to 23\% of the global total of 4 million neonatal deaths. Country-level model predictions compared well with population-based data sets not included in the input data. An estimated 1.02 million intrapartum stillbirths (0.66-1.48 million) occur annually, comprising 26\% of global stillbirths. CONCLUSION: Intrapartum-related neonatal deaths account for almost 10\% of deaths in children aged under 5 years. Intrapartum stillbirths are a huge and invisible problem, but are potentially preventable. Programmatic attention and improved information are required.
This article was published in Bull World Health Organ
and referenced in Journal of Pregnancy and Child Health