Mapping socio-geographical disparities in the occurrence of teenage maternity in Colombia using multilevel analysis of individual heterogeneity and discriminatory accuracy (MAIHDA)

Hedda Mattsson, Johanna Gustafsson, Sergio Prada, Laura Jaramillo-Otoy, George B Leckie, Juan Merlo, Merida Rodriguez-Lopez*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

Background: The prevalence of teenage pregnancy in Colombia is higher than the worldwide average. The identification of socio-geographical disparities might help to prioritize public health interventions.

Aim: To describe variation in the probability of teenage maternity across geopolitical departments and socio-geographical intersectional strata in Colombia.

Methods: A cross-sectional study based on live birth certificates in Colombia. Teenage maternity was defined as a woman giving birth aged 19 or younger. Multilevel analysis of individual heterogeneity and discriminatory accuracy (MAIHDA) was applied using multilevel Poisson and logistic regression. Two different approaches were used: (1) intersectional: using strata defined by the combination of health insurance, region, area of residency, and ethnicity as the second level (2) geographical: using geopolitical departments as the second level. Null, partial, and full models were obtained. General contextual effect (GCE) based on the variance partition coefficient (VPC) was considered as the measure of disparity. Proportional change in variance (PCV) was used to identify the contribution of each variable to the between-strata variation and to identify whether this variation, if any, was due to additive or interaction effects. Residuals were used to identify strata with potential higher-order interactions.

Results: The prevalence of teenage mothers in Colombia was 18.30% (95% CI 18.20-18.40). The highest prevalence was observed in Vichada, 25.65% (95% CI: 23.71-27.78), and in the stratum containing mothers with Subsidized/Unaffiliated healthcare insurance, Mestizo, Rural area in the Caribbean region, 29.08% (95% CI 28.55-29.61). The VPC from the null model was 1.70% and 9.16% using the geographical and socio-geographical intersectional approaches, respectively. The higher PCV for the intersectional model was attributed to health insurance. Positive and negative interactions of effects were observed.

Conclusion: Disparities were observed between intersectional socio-geographical strata but not between geo-political departments. Our results indicate that if resources for prevention are limited, using an intersectional socio-geographical approach would be more effective than focusing on geopolitical departments especially when focusing resources on those groups which show the highest prevalence. MAIHDA could potentially be applied to many other health outcomes where resource decisions must be made.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal for Equity in Health
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 7 Feb 2024

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