Effect of co-morbidity on child mortality

The standard practice of attributing each death to a single cause ignores the fact that many deaths are associated with more than one condition, often with two or more infectious diseases such as malaria and pneumonia. It is critical to understand the proportion of child mortality that can be attributed to the combined occurrence of multiple conditions referred to as “co-morbidity”, the effect of co-morbidity on the probability of mortality, and risk factors for co-morbidity. This information is important for program and research priority-setting. A better understanding of the role of co-morbidity may alter our perceptions with regard to the importance or effectiveness of child health interventions. 

Methods and Expected Products

This activity involves creating a core investigators group which will be composed of several child health researchers who have led large-scale pediatric cohort studies.  The core investigators group will conduct a rigorous search for all available appropriate data sets of co-morbidity and child mortality. Results of the analysis will be used to estimate the impact of co-morbidity on child mortality. The final results will be published in a peer review journal and will be made publicly available on the project website, in addition to publication in a peer review journal. 

All work will be done in collaboration with the investigators of the datasets.  During the first two years of the grant the activities will be focused on forming the investigators group, establishing an agreed upon analysis plan and conducting initial analyses. It is expected that an interim report summarizing the first draft of analyses will be completed by December 2010.


Fischer Walker CL, Perin J, Liu JL, et al.Does comorbidity increase the risk of mortality among children under 3 years of age? BMJ Open 2013;3:e003457. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2013-003457 

Fischer Walker CL, Perin J, Katz J, Tielsch JM,Black RE. Diarrhea as a risk factor for acute lower respiratory tract infections among young children in low income settings. Journal of Global Health. 2013; 3(1): 010402

Co-morbidity Study Overview, by Christa Fischer Walker and Jamie Perin

Julia Kaufmann
Julia is 34 years old and has studied nutritional sciences. She specializes in nutrition, health and fitness. To this end, she passionately analyzes the new trends in nutritional supplements, evaluates them under the strictest regulations and does her best to help other people feel better about life.


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