J Prev Med Public Health.  2006 Nov;39(6):469-476.

The Effects of the Parents' Social Class on Infant and Child Death among 1995-2004 Birth Cohort in Korea

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Preventive Medicine, Kangwon National University, Medical College, Korea. sonmia@kangwon.ac.kr
  • 2Seoul National University, School of Public Health, Korea.
  • 3Hallym University, Medical College, Korea.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To investigate the effect of parents' social class on infant and child mortality rates among the birth cohort, for the period of transition to and from the Koran economic crisis 1995-2004. METHODS: All births reported to between 1995 and 2004 (n=5,711,337) were analyzed using a Cox regression model, to study the role of the social determinants of parents in infant and child mortality. The results were adjusted for the parents' age, education and occupation, together with mother's obstetrical history. RESULTS: The crude death rate among those under 10 was 3.71 per 1000 births (21,217 deaths among 5,711,337 births) between 1995 and 2004. The birth cohorts from lower educated parents less than elementary school showed higher mortality rates compared with those from higher educated parents over university level (HR:3.0 (95%CI:2.8-3.7) for father and HR:3.4 (95%CI:3.3-4.5) for mother). The mother's education level showed a stronger relationship with mortality among the birth cohort than that of the fathers'. The gaps in infant mortality rates by parents' social class, and educational level became wider from 1995 to 2004. In particular, the breadth of the existing gap between higher and lower parents' social class groups has dramatically widened since the economic crisis of 1998. DISCUSSIONS: This study shows that social differences exist in infant and child mortality rates. Also, the gap for the infant mortality due to social class has become wider since the economic crisis of 1998.

Keyword

Infant and child mortality; Social class; Inequality; Class differences

MeSH Terms

*Social Class
*Parents
Male
Korea/epidemiology
Infant, Newborn
*Infant Mortality
Infant
Humans
Female
Educational Status
Child, Preschool
*Child Mortality
Child
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