The Relationship between Parental Socioeconomic Status and Mortality in Premature Infants in Hospitals

Document Type : Original Article


Department of Health Services Management, Tehran North Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran


Introduction: Measuring the patient mortality rate is the most important indicator for the evaluation of healthcare capabilities in intensive care units in hospitals and health systems. This study aims to investigate the impact of the socio economic status of households on premature infant mortality in hospitals affiliated to the Tehran University of Medical Sciences.
Methods: This descriptive and analytic study was conducted in hospitals, having neonatal intensive care units (NICU), affiliated to the Tehran University of Medical Sciences in the spring of 2013. Using the census sampling method, 114 premature infants constituted the sample of the current study. Data was gathered using a questionnaire and analyzed using chi square and Fisher methods.
Results: The results of the study showed that there is a significant statistical relationship (P<0.05) between the variables of maternal educational levels, employment status of mothers, birth spacing, history of previous neonatal death, parental smoking history and mothers' self-assessments of economic status of household with premature infant mortality in neonatal intensive care units (NICU).
Conclusion: According to the results of this study and the relationship between the mentioned variables, increasing health awareness among parents and their education level can be considered as a significant factor in reducing infant mortality and also focusing on promoting healthy behavior can have a desirable impact on the reduction of premature infant mortality.


Chapieski ML, Evankovich KD. Behavioral effects of prematurity. American J Prenatal. 1997;14(2):75-8.
Mehryar AH. Population, development and pregnancy health, Boshra publishing and promoting, Tehran: third ed,1379, 19-20. Persian]
Jenkins J, McCall E, Gardner E, Casson K, Dolk H. Socioeconomic inequalities in neonatal intensive care admission rates. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed 2009;94:F423-8.
Henderson ZT, Power ML, Berghella V, Lackritz EM, Schulkin J. Attitudes and practices regarding use of progesterone to prevent preterm births. Am J Perinatol. 2009;26(7):529-36.
da Fonseca EB, Bittar RE, Carvalho MH, Zugaib M. Prophylactic administration of progesterone by vaginal suppository to reduce the incidence of spontaneous preterm birth in women at increased risk: a randomized placebocontrolled double-blind study. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2003;188(2):419-24.
Gabbe SG. Definition, detection, and management of gestational diabetes. Obstet Gynecol. 1986;67(1):121-5.
Lawn JE, Cousens S, Zupan J. 4 million neonatal deaths: When? Where? Why? Lancet. 2005;365:891-900.
Pourazin S, Vafadar A, Zare Z. The incidence of premature birth, complications, and outcomes in Shiraz University of Medical Sciences. J Iran University Med Sci. 2010;9(28):19-26. Persian
Dibben C, Sigala M, Macfarlane A. Area deprivation, individual factors and low birth weight in England: is there evidence of an ‘‘area effect’’?. J Epidemiol Community Health. 2006;60:1053-9.
Devlieger H,  Martens G, Bekaert A. Social inequalities in perinatal and infant mortality in the northern region of Belgium (the Flanders). Eur J Public Health. 2005;15(1):15-19.
Nadim A. An epidemiologic study of stillbirths and infant mortality and associated factors in the Kurdistan province. J Kurdistan University Med Sci. 2000;4(13):10-19. Persian
Walton E. Residential segregation and birth weight among racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. J Health Soc Behav. 2009;50:427-42.
Colen CG, Geronimus AT, Bound J, James SA. Maternal upward socioeconomic mobility and black-white disparities in infant birthweight. Am J Public Health. 2006;96:2032-9.
Olson ME, Diekema D, Elliott BA, Renier CM. Impact of income and income inequality on infant health outcomes in the United States. Pediatrics. 2010;126:1165-73.
Alahyari M. Factors affecting mortality and stillbirths in rural areas are covered by health houses in the Province of West Azerbaijan. [M.Sc Thesis]. Tehran: School of Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, 1999. Persian