Birth Order and Injury-Related Infant Mortality in the United States
American Journal of Preventive Medicine
Introduction: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the risk of death during the first year of life due to injury, such as unintentional injury and homicide, by birth order in the U.S. Methods: Using national birth cohort-linked birth-infant death data (births, 2000-2010; deaths, 2000-2011), risks of infant mortality due to injury in second-, third-, fourth-, and fifth or later-born singleton infants were compared with first-born singleton infants. Risk ratios were estimated using log-binomial models adjusted for maternal age, marital status, race/ethnicity, and education. The statistical analyses were conducted in 2016. Results: Approximately 40%, 32%, 16%, 7%, and 4% of singleton live births were first, second, third, fourth, and fifth or later born, respectively. From 2000 to 2011, a total of 15,866 infants died as a result of injury (approximately 1,442 deaths per year). Compared with first-born infants (2.9 deaths per 10,000 live births), second or later-born infants were at increased risk of infant mortality due to injury (second, 3.6 deaths; third, 4.2 deaths; fourth, 4.8 deaths; fifth or later, 6.4 deaths). The corresponding adjusted risk ratios were as follows: second, 1.84 (95% CI=1.76, 1.91); third, 2.42 (95% CI=2.30, 2.54); fourth, 2.96 (95% CI=2.77, 3.16); and fifth or later, 4.26 (95% CI=3.96, 4.57). Conclusions: Singleton infants born second or later were at increased risk of mortality due to injury during their first year of life in the U.S. This study's findings highlight the importance of investigating underlying mechanisms behind this increased risk.
Ahrens, K.A., Thoma, M., Rossen, L.M., Warner, M., & Simon, A.E. (2017). Birth order and injury-related infant mortality in the United States. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 53(4), 412-420.