New method quantifies uncertainty in estimates of child mortality rates
Measures of uncertainty should be taken into account when estimating progress towards Millennium Development Goal 4 (to reduce the mortality rate of children under 5 years by two thirds from the 1990 level by 2015) in order to give more accurate assessments of countries' progress, according to a study published in this week's PLOS Medicine.
Leontine Alkema and Jin Rou New from the National University of Singapore used a statistical method called bootstrapping to calculate uncertainty intervals for the estimates of mortality rates in children aged under 5 years and the yearly reduction in these rates for 174 countries.
Factoring in uncertainty is necessary because many poor countries do not have well-functioning vital registration systems to record the number of child deaths. When analysing trends in under-5 mortality rates, researchers typically focus on the "best" estimates, but this practice can lead to misleading results and comparisons when such estimates are highly uncertain.
The authors found that in 86 high child mortality countries (with more than 40 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990), there was much uncertainty about the levels and trends, especially more recently because of the limited availability of data. In 2011, the median width of the uncertainty intervals of the child mortality rates, relative to their level, was 48% among the high mortality countries compared with 19% in 1990. Furthermore, for 8 countries, the uncertainty level was high enough to not exclude the possibility that no progress had been made in reducing child mortality, whereas for 13 countries, progress is likely to have exceeded the Millennium Development Goal 4 target of a 4.4% annual rate of reduction since 1990.
The authors say: "The new uncertainty assessments provide more insights into countries' progress in reducing child mortality because they enable a categorization of countries based on the evidence for the progress that has been made (as supposed to focusing on potentially highly uncertain point estimates)".
The authors add: "Uncertainty assessments can and should be used to complement point estimates to avoid unwarranted conclusions about levels or trends in child mortality and to reduce confusion about differences in estimates, such as estimates from different groups such as the [United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation] and the [Institute for Health Metrics Evaluation], or after updating point estimates in light of new data."
More information: Alkema L, New JR (2012) Progress toward Global Reduction in Under-Five Mortality: A Bootstrap Analysis of Uncertainty in Millennium Development Goal 4 Estimates. PLoS Med 9(12): e1001355. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001355
Journal reference: PLoS Medicine
Provided by Public Library of Science
- New PLOS collection: Child mortality estimation methods Aug 28, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Unexpected decline in newborn mortality drives child deaths below 8 million May 25, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Maternal deaths fall worldwide from a half-million annually to less that 350,000 Apr 12, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Death rates in newborns remain shockingly high in Africa and India Aug 30, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Adult death rates lowest in Iceland, Cyprus Apr 30, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
(HealthDay)—More than one in four of those eligible for new premium assistance tax credits under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) do not have a checking account and will not be able to receive premiums from ...
Health 35 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
After studying noise in one French Quarter neighborhood of New Orleans to determine whether or not noise levels exceeded municipal ordinances, Annette Hurley, PhD, Assistant Professor of Audiology at LSU Health Sciences Center ...
Health 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Young children who missed more than half of recommended well-child visits had up to twice the risk of hospitalization compared to children who attended most of their visits, according to a study published today in the American Jo ...
Health 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
The individualisation of drug treatments to support patients to self-manage their conditions is a concept that sits at the heart of policy, but a recent study in BMJ Open shows that there is no concrete defini ...
Health 4 hours ago | 3 / 5 (1) | 0
Fun in the summer often means kids spending time in the water, whether at a pool, the beach, a lake or river. A pediatric safety expert at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) stresses proper training ...
Health 5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—We've all seen them: the surfers who race to the beach when a hurricane hits, the guy who decides to ride out the storm in his overmatched boat, the tornado chasers who fearlessly steer their ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—New evidence-based guidelines provide guidance on medical and surgical methods for second-trimester abortion and management of associated complications, according to a practice bulletin published ...
45 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—Comorbid conditions often accompany alopecia areata, according to a study published online May 22 in JAMA Dermatology.
15 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—As a world-class golfer, Stacy Lewis' accomplishments are remarkable. But it was a physical challenge in her childhood that defined her ascent to the top of her sport.
55 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Women at a particular stage in their monthly menstrual cycle may be more vulnerable to some of the psychological side-effects associated with stressful experiences, according to a study from UCL.
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Biological processes are generally based on events at the molecular and cellular level. To understand what happens in the course of infections, diseases or normal bodily functions, scientists would need to ...
2 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |