Non-communicable diseases account for half of adult female deaths in rural Bangladesh

May 14, 2013

While global attention has for decades been focused on reducing maternal mortality, population-based data on other causes of death among women of reproductive age has been virtually non-existent. A study conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found that non-communicable diseases accounted for 48 percent of 1,107 investigated female deaths in rural Bangladesh between 2002 and 2007. The findings lend urgency to review global health priorities to address neglected and potentially fatal non-communicable diseases affecting rural women in South Asia. The study is published in the May 2013 edition of the British Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

For the study, researchers surveyed a population of more than 130,000 women of reproductive age in using a pregnancy surveillance system established during the JiVitA-1 community-based maternal vitamin A or beta-carotene supplementation trial. The researchers prospectively recorded deaths among enrolled women. Employing a modified World Health Organization verbal autopsy method, physicians interviewed families at home about the events and circumstances leading up to the death of each woman. A separate set of physicians independently reviewed the verbal autopsies to ascertain the primary cause of death: 22 percent were related to pregnancy, 17 percent due to infection and 9 percent attributable to injuries (both unrelated to pregnancy), while 48 percent of the fatalities were assigned to non-communicable diseases, among which circulatory system diseases and cancer were the top causes.

"While reducing mortality from pregnancy remains a high priority, these findings highlight the need to address and reduce the risk of death unrelated to pregnancy among women of reproductive age. The causes and risk factors need to be better understood to design interventions to reduce risk, likely focusing on nutrition, health education, early screening and health care for in their prime of life," said Alain Labrique, PhD, assistant professor in the Bloomberg School's Department of International Health and lead author of the study.

Explore further: Providers needed for treatment of fatal non-communicable diseases in Bangladesh

More information: "Beyond pregnancy - the neglected burden of female mortality in young women of reproductive age in Bangladesh: a prospective cohort study" onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10 … -0528.12245/abstract

Related Stories

Providers needed for treatment of fatal non-communicable diseases in Bangladesh

October 12, 2012
Although non-communicable diseases account for a significant burden of deaths among women of reproductive age in low-income countries, little is known about how women and their families seek care for these diseases. A study ...

Teen moms at greater risk for later obesity, study finds

April 19, 2013
A new study debunks the myth that younger moms are more likely to "bounce back" after having a baby – teenage pregnancy actually makes women more likely to become obese.

Vitamin A, beta carotene pregnancy supplements do not appear to reduce maternal, infant death risk

May 17, 2011
Although some evidence suggests that prevention of vitamin A deficiency among women in developing countries may improve maternal and infant survival, pregnant women in rural Bangladesh who received vitamin A or beta carotene ...

Women with unintended pregnancy are more likely to suffer from postpartum depression

May 7, 2013
Women with unintended pregnancy are four times more likely to suffer from postpartum depression at twelve months postpartum, suggests a new study published today in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Non-certified providers provide initial care in Bangladesh

January 24, 2012
(Medical Xpress) -- In rural Bangladesh, non-certified providers such as village doctors and untrained birth attendants are the first-line providers for women with severe obstetric complications, according to a new study ...

Infant mortality risk increases with maternal alcohol use

February 25, 2013
(HealthDay)—Maternal alcohol-use disorder increases the risk of both sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and non-SIDS-related infant mortality, according to a study published online Feb. 25 in Pediatrics.

Recommended for you

First time mums with an epidural who lie down more likely to have a normal birth

October 18, 2017
Adopting a lying down position rather than being upright in the later stages of labour for first-time mothers who have had a low dose epidural leads to a higher chance of them delivering their baby without any medical intervention, ...

Mice delivered by C-section gain more weight than those delivered naturally

October 11, 2017
Mice born by Caesarian section gained on average 33 percent more weight in the 15 weeks after weaning than mice born vaginally, with females gaining 70 percent more weight.

Study shows epidurals don't slow labor

October 10, 2017
Epidural analgesia - a mix of anesthetics and narcotics delivered by catheter placed close to the nerves of the spine - is the most effective method of labor pain relief. In widespread use since the 1970s, epidurals have ...

Progesterone does not prevent preterm birth or complications, says study

October 3, 2017
An increasingly popular hormonal "treatment" for pregnant women with a history of preterm birth does not work, a major new international study shows.

Study questions practice of placenta eating by new moms

September 29, 2017
(HealthDay)—You may have heard that some new mothers choose to eat their own placenta after childbirth. But there's no indication the trendy practice offers any health benefits, and some evidence it could prove dangerous, ...

Hope for couples suffering IVF miscarriage

September 20, 2017
Women who miscarry during their first full round of IVF are more likely to have a baby after further treatment than women who don't get pregnant at all.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.