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Background/objectives: Nigeria remains the largest contributor to neonatal mortality in Africa. Nigeria’s neonatal mortality rate is 48/1000 live births. Existing research on the causes of neonatal mortality in Nigeria has placed great emphasis on factors such as diarrhea, malaria, measles and acute respiratory infections, whooping cough, tuberculosis, bronchopneumonia, dirty feeding bottles and utensils, inadequate disposal of household refuse, poor storage of drinking water and household wealth index1-4. However, insufficient attention has been given to parental age-related factors. Understanding the implications of parental age differences for child health can add to our knowledge of the correlates of neonatal mortality and furnish insights to support the design and delivery of interventions to address the problem. To examine the implications of spousal age-related factors for child health outcomes.
Methods: Data for this study were drawn from the 2008 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey. Univariate and multivariate statistical analyses were used to assess the relationship between neonatal mortality and parental age-related contextual factors focusing on maternal and paternal ages, spousal age, sex of child, household wealth index and place of residence.
Results: The multivariate logistic regression analyses yielded significantly increased risk of neonatal mortality among neonates of parents with age differences of 15 years or more.
Conclusions: Neonates of couples with age differences of less than 15 years die less compared to neonate of spouses with age difference of 15 years and above.