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Violence against women increases the risk of foetal and early childhood growth impairment: A cohort study in rural Bangladesh
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH).
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Women's and Children's Health, International Maternal and Child Health (IMCH).
2009 (English)In: Archives of Disease in Childhood, ISSN 0003-9888, E-ISSN 1468-2044, Vol. 94, 775-779 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

OBJECTIVE:

To assess whether different forms of family violence against women were associated with impaired size at birth and early childhood growth.

METHODS:

A substudy embedded into a community-based food and micronutrient supplementation trial (MINIMat) of pregnant women in rural Bangladesh included a 2-year follow-up of the 3164 live-born children of participating women. Anthropometric data were collected from birth up to 24 months of age, and converted to WHO growth standard SD scores. Size at birth and early childhood growth were assessed in relation to women's exposure to physical, sexual and emotional violence and the level of controlling behaviour in the family.

RESULTS:

Fifty per cent of all women reported a lifetime experience of some form of family violence. The mean birth weight was 2701 g, 30% were low birth weight (<2500 g), mean birth length was 47.8 cm (17.5%, <or=2 SD) and at 24 months of age 37% were underweight and 50% of the children were stunted. Exposure to any form of violence was negatively associated with weight and length at birth and weight-for-age and height-for-age SD scores at 24 months of age, as well as a change in weight and height SD score from birth to 24 months of age (p<0.05, adjusted for potential confounders).

CONCLUSIONS:

Violence against women was associated with an increased risk of fetal and early childhood growth impairment, adding to the multitude of confirmed and plausible health consequences caused by this problem.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. Vol. 94, 775-779 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-97413DOI: 10.1136/adc.2008.144444PubMedID: 19224891OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-97413DiVA: diva2:172356
Available from: 2008-08-27 Created: 2008-08-27 Last updated: 2013-05-22Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The Impact of Violence Against Women on Child Growth, Morbidity and Survival: Studies in Bangladesh and Nicaragua
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Impact of Violence Against Women on Child Growth, Morbidity and Survival: Studies in Bangladesh and Nicaragua
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis was to explore the impact of physical, sexual and emotional violence against women of reproductive age and the level of controlling behaviour in marriage on child health and survival in two different cultural settings: Bangladesh and Nicaragua.

Data were acquired from four quantitative community-based studies. In two studies, a cohort including a prospective two year follow-up of 3164 mother-infant pairs in rural Bangladesh was investigated. A third study was a case-referent study in Nicaragua including mothers of 110 cases of under-five deaths and 203 referents, and in a forth study an other cohort of 1048 rural Bangladeshi women and their 2691 children was followed until 5 years of age.

Maternal exposure to any form of violence, including physical, sexual, emotional, and controlling behaviour was independently associated with lower body size at birth, increased risk of stunting and under-weight at 24 months of age, slower growth velocity during the first two years of life and a higher incidence of diarrhoeal episodes and respiratory tract infections. In the Nicaraguan setting, the children of women who experienced any history of physical violence had a two-fold increase in risk of death before the age of 5 years, and those whose mothers experienced both physical and sexual violence had a six-fold increase in risk of death. In Bangladesh, an association between violence against women and under-five mortality was found among daughters of educated mothers who were exposed to severe physical violence or a high level of controlling behaviour in marriage. In all four studies, lifetime violence experience among participating mothers was high (37-69%), and the timing was less relevant than the exposure to violence per se.

In conclusion, this investigation revealed that violence against women severely affects child health and survival. The findings are especially relevant in a context of high level of child under-nutrition, morbidity and under-five mortality. Efforts for protecting women from all forms of violence are needed as part of the interventions for improved child health.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Universitetsbiblioteket, 2008. 88 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 366
Keyword
Violence against women, Birth-weight, Child growth, Under-nutrition, Infant morbidity, Under-five mortality, Bangladesh, Nicaragua
National Category
Health Care Service and Management, Health Policy and Services and Health Economy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-9197 (URN)978-91-554-7253-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2008-09-17, Rosénsalen, Akademiska sjukhuset, Ing.95/96, Uppsala, 09:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2008-08-27 Created: 2008-08-27Bibliographically approved

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