The impact of missing birth weight in deceased versus surviving fetuses and infants in the comparison of birth weight-specific feto-infant mortality

Shi Wu Wen, Li Mei Chen, Chung Yi Li, Michael S. Kramer, Alexander C. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Birth weight-specific is preferred to crude feto-infant mortality in epidemiologic studies comparing rates across jurisdictions, because it can help limit the bias arising from regional differences in the completeness of reporting of vital events and in classification of live versus stillbirth among extremely small and immature infants. The potential impact of missing birth weight information in deceased versus surviving fetuses and infants in the comparison of birth weight-specific feto-infant mortality has been seldom examined, however. The authors investigated this issue, using data collected from two nationwide surveys of all pregnancy outcomes occurring 15-17 May 1989 and 12-16 February 1996, respectively, in Taiwan and the 1989 and 1996 linked birth and infant death records in Canada (excluding Ontario and Newfoundland). The proportions with missing birth weight information in Taiwan in 1989 were 25.0%, 15.4%, 0%, and 0.6%, respectively, for stillbirths, neonatal deaths, post-neonatal deaths, and survivors, and in 1996 were 100%, 5.0%, 0%, and 0.2%. The proportions with missing birth weight information in Canada in 1989 were 5.8%, 2.6%, 1.2%, and 0.6% for fetal deaths, neonatal deaths, post-neonatal deaths, and survivors, respectively, and in 1996 were 5.0%, 2.4%, 1.1%, and 0.6%. Infant and (especially) fetal death rates were substantially higher in Taiwan than in Canada among births with missing birth weight. The authors concluded that differences in missing birth weight information between deaths and survivors can bias comparisons of birth weight-specific feto-infant mortality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-151
Number of pages6
JournalChronic Diseases in Canada
Volume23
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2002 Sep 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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