STUDY OBJECTIVE--The aim was to analyse social class differences in mortality among Swedish children, 1-19 years old, during the period 1981-86. In order to study the development of these differences, mortality differences during the study period were compared with those 20 years earlier, ie, 1961-66. DESIGN--The study used data from two census linked death registries (CDR80 and CDR60). These were constructed by linkages between the 1980 and 1960 population censuses, respectively, and the corresponding national cause of death registries. Age specific and age standardised death rates, for total and cause specific mortality, were calculated for each social class and for the genders separately. To compare the death rates of social classes, relative risks with approximately 95% confidence limits were calculated. STUDY POPULATION--The study included children younger than 16 years at the time of the censuses and all deaths in the age range 1-19 years. The children were followed up for a period of six years after the censuses with respect to mortality. MAIN RESULTS--During the period 1981-86, children in families of both manual workers and self employed persons had a significantly higher mortality than children in families of non-manual workers. CONCLUSIONS--Although there has been a marked decrease in child mortality during the last decades the study shows that social class differences in child mortality still exist and show little tendency to disappear.
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