Beyond birth outcomes: Interpregnancy interval and injury-related infant mortality
Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology
birth spacing, infant mortality, injury, interpregnancy interval, parity
Background: Several studies have examined the association between IPI and birth outcomes, but few have explored the association between interpregnancy interval (IPI) and postnatal outcomes.
Objective: We examined the association between IPI and injury-related infant mortality, a leading cause of postneonatal mortality.
Methods: We used 2011-2015 US period-linked birth-infant death vital statistics data to generate a multiyear birth cohort of non-first-born singleton births (N = 9 782 029). IPI was defined as the number of months between a live birth and the start of the pregnancy leading to the next live birth. Causes of death in the first year of life were identified using ICD-10 codes. Hazard ratios (HR) for IPI categories were estimated using Cox proportional hazards models adjusted for birth order, county poverty level, and maternal characteristics (marital status, race/ethnicity, education, age at previous birth).
Results: After adjustment, overall infant mortality (48.1 per 10 000 births) was higher for short and long IPIs compared with IPI 18-23 months (reference):
Conclusion: Unlike overall infant mortality, injury-related infant mortality decreased with IPI length. While injury-related deaths are rare, these patterns suggest that the timing between births may be a marker of risk for fatal infant injuries. The first year postpartum may be an ideal time for the delivery of evidence-based injury prevention programmes as well as family planning services.
Thoma, M.E., Rossen, L.M., Da Silva, D.A., Warner, M., Simon, A.E., Moskosky, S., & Ahrens, K.A. (2019). Beyond birth outcomes: interpregnancy interval and injury-related infant mortality. Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, 33(5), 360-370. doi: 10.1111/ppe.12575