Urban Area Disadvantage and Under-5 Mortality in Nigeria
Environmental Health Perspectives, June 2010
Urban Area Disadvantage and Under-5 Mortality in Nigeria: The Effect of Rapid Urbanization
Diddy Antai and Tahereh Moradi Division of Epidemiology, Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden
Background: Living in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas is associated with increased childhood mortality risks. As city living becomes the predominant social context in low- and middle-income countries, the resulting rapid urbanization together with the poor economic circumstances of these countries greatly increases the risks of mortality for children < 5 years of age (under-5 mortality).
Objective: In this study we examined the trends in urban population growth and urban under‑5 mortality between 1983 and 2003 in Nigeria. We assessed whether urban area socioeconomic disadvantage has an impact on under-5 mortality.
Methods: Urban under-5 mortality rates were directly estimated from the 1990, 1999, and 2003 Nigeria Demographic and Health Surveys. Multilevel logistic regression analysis was performed on data for 2,118 children nested within data for 1,350 mothers, who were in turn nested within data for 165 communities.
Results: Urban under-5 mortality increased as urban population steadily increased between 1983 and 2003. Urban area disadvantage was significantly associated with under-5 mortality after adjusting for individual child- and mother-level demographic and socioeconomic characteristics.
Conclusions: Significant relative risks of under-5 deaths at both individual and community levels underscore the need for interventions tailored toward community- and individual-level interventions. We stress the need for further studies on community-level determinants of under-5 mortality in disadvantaged urban areas.