Infant Mortality during the 1920s-1940s in Puerto Rico and the Health of Older Puerto Ricans Adults

Mary McEniry, University of Wisconsin at Madison

Infant mortality (IMR) during the late 1920s-early 1940s in Puerto Rico may shed light on the importance of early life exposures in utero and early infancy for older adult health. Data for IMR at the county (municipio) level during the late 1920s-early 1940s in Puerto Rico were obtained using historical records and linked with individual birth year and place using the Puerto Rican Elderly Health Conditions study. We used different representations of IMR (continuous, logit, quartile) and also classified IMR according to the dominance and level of neonatal endogenous mortality by applying the Bourgeois-Pichat biometric method. We then estimated the effects of these indicators on adult health (self-reported heart disease and diabetes) for those who lived in the country during childhood, controlling for age, gender, obesity, respondent’s educational level, smoking behavior, other early life exposures (birth month, knee height, childhood socioeconomic status, childhood health, and mother’s risk of exposure to malaria).

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Presented in Session 172: Early Life Conditions and Adult Health