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The mother’s risk of premature death after child loss across two centuries

The mother’s risk of premature death after child loss across two centuries


Title: The mother’s risk of premature death after child loss across two centuries
Author: Valdimarsdottir, Unnur   orcid.org/0000-0001-5382-946X
Lu, Donghao
Lund, Sigrún Helga   orcid.org/0000-0002-3806-2296
Fall, Katja
Fang, Fang
Kristjánsson, Þórður
Gudbjartsson, Daniel   orcid.org/0000-0002-5222-9857
Helgason, Agnar
Stefansson, Kari   orcid.org/0000-0003-1676-864X
Date: 2019-11-12
Language: English
Scope: e43476
University/Institute: Háskóli Íslands
University of Iceland
School: Heilbrigðisvísindasvið (HÍ)
School of Health Sciences (UI)
Verkfræði- og náttúruvísindasvið (HÍ)
School of Engineering and Natural Sciences (UI)
Félagsvísindasvið (HÍ)
School of Social Sciences (UI)
Department: Læknadeild (HÍ)
Faculty of Medicine (UI)
Félagsfræði-, mannfræði- og þjóðfræðideild (HÍ)
Faculty of Sociology, Anthropology and Folkloristics (UI)
Series: eLife;8
ISSN: 2050-084X
DOI: 10.7554/eLife.43476
Subject: Barnadauði; Barnamissir; Lífslíkur; Foreldrar
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11815/1603

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Abstract:

While the rare occurrence of child loss is accompanied by reduced life expectancy of parents in contemporary affluent populations, its impact in developing societies with high child mortality rates is unclear. We identified all parents in Iceland born 1800–1996 and compared the mortality rates of 47,711 parents who lost a child to those of their siblings (N = 126,342) who did not. The proportion of parents who experienced child loss decreased from 61.1% of those born 1800–1880 to 5.2% of those born after 1930. Child loss was consistently associated with increased rate of maternal, but not paternal, death before the age of 50 across all parent birth cohorts; the relative increase in maternal mortality rate ranged from 35% among mothers born 1800–1930 to 64% among mothers born after 1930. The loss of a child poses a threat to the survival of young mothers, even during periods of high infant mortality rates.

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Publisher's version (útgefin grein).

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This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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