The mortality divide in India: The differential contributions of gender, caste and standard of living across the life course

SV Subramaniam, S Nandy, M Kelly, H Lambert, D Gordon, G Davey Smith

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

123 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objectives. We investigated the contributions of gender, caste, and standard of living to inequalities in mortality across the life course in India. Methods. We conducted a multilevel cross-sectional analysis of individual mortality, using the 1998–1999 Indian National Family Health Survey data for 529321 individuals from 26 states. Results. Substantial mortality differentials were observed between the lowest and highest standard-of-living quintiles across all age groups, ranging from an odds ratio (OR) of 4.61 (95% confidence interval [CI]=2.98, 7.13) in the age group 2 to 5 years to an OR of 1.97 (95% CI=1.68, 2.32) in the age group 45 to 64 years. Excess mortality for girls was evident only for the age group 2 to 5 years (OR=1.33, 95% CI=1.13, 1.58). Substantial caste differentials were observed at the beginning and end stages of life. Area variation in mortality is partially a result of the compositional effects of household standard of living and caste. Conclusions. The mortality burden, across the life course in India, falls disproportionately on economically disadvantaged and lower-caste groups. Residual state-level variation in mortality suggests an underlying ecology to the mortality divide in India.
Translated title of the contributionThe mortality divide in India: The differential contributions of gender, caste and standard of living across the life course
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)818 - 825
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Public Health
Volume96(5)
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2006

Bibliographical note

Publisher: American Public Health Association

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