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Child marriage and its association with morbidity and mortality of children under 5 years old: evidence from India
Authors: Pintu Paul
Source: Journal of Public Health, Online first; DOI: 10.1007/s10389-019-01038-8
Topic(s): Child health
Child marriage
Childhood mortality
Children under five
Country: Asia
Published: FEB 2019
Abstract: Aim The aim of this study was to examine the association between child marriage and morbidity and mortality of children below 5 years of age. Subjects and methods A total of 254,017 children born to women aged 15–49 years in the past 5 years preceding the survey from the 2015–16 National Family Health Survey were utilized for analyses of the study data. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression models were carried out to assess the associations. Results The prevalence of morbidity and mortality were significantly higher among the births of women who married before 18 years of age compared to those births whose mother married at 18 years of age or older. The regression result shows that child marriage was significantly associated with increased risk of morbidity and mortality of children in crude analyses. However, the inclusion of relevant demographics in multivariate analyses reduces its significant association and child marriage was found to be marginally associated with morbidity and mortality among children under 5 years old. Conclusion This study concludes that proper intervention through effective policy and program to increase the age at marriage and by reducing socioeconomic vulnerabilities can combat the incidence of high morbidity and mortality among children under 5 years old. Keywords Child marriage Morbidity Mortality Children under 5 years old India