The effect of number of births on women's mortality: Systematic review of the evidence for women who have completed their childbearing.


Hurt, LS; Ronsmans, C; Thomas, SL; (2006) The effect of number of births on women's mortality: Systematic review of the evidence for women who have completed their childbearing. Population studies, 60 (1). pp. 55-71. ISSN 0032-4728 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/00324720500436011

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Abstract

Mortality in women who have completed their childbearing may increase with the number of births experienced because of maternal depletion or a trade-off between reproduction and mortality. We report a systematic review of the evidence on this association. We searched Medline, Embase, Popline, and the Science Citation Index for published and unpublished studies up to September 2003, and the book catalogues of relevant London libraries. Where necessary we also contacted authors for additional information. Mortality declined with increasing numbers of births in twelve historical cohorts, but in eight contemporary cohorts the highest mortality was seen in the nulliparous and in women with more than four births. All effects seen were small and there were few statistically significant results. Studies examining the relationship in other ways (such as by linear trends or by mean number of births by age at death) found inconsistent associations. We discuss methodological, social, and biological factors that may have affected these associations.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Population Health (2012- ) > Dept of Nutrition and Public Health Interventions Research (2003-2012)
Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Population Health (2012- )
Research Centre: Centre for Maternal, Reproductive and Child Health (MARCH)
Maternal Health Group
PubMed ID: 16464775
Web of Science ID: 235857600004
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/12248

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