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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 604974, 12 pages
Research Article

Association of Urban Slum Residency with Infant Mortality and Child Stunting in Low and Middle Income Countries

1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences and Offord Centre for Child Studies, Hamilton Health Sciences, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8S 4L8
2Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, ON, Canada L8S 4L8

Received 29 April 2013; Revised 12 August 2013; Accepted 12 August 2013

Academic Editor: Antonio Pacheco

Copyright © 2013 Hmwe Hmwe Kyu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This study aimed to (i) examine the contextual influences of urban slum residency on infant mortality and child stunting over and above individual and household characteristics and (ii) identify factors that might modify any adverse effects. We obtained data from Demographic and Health Surveys conducted in 45 countries between 2000 and 2009. The respondents were women (15–49 years) and their children (0–59 months). Results showed that living in a slum neighborhood was associated with infant mortality (OR = 1.34, 95% CI = 1.15–1.57) irrespective of individual and household characteristics and this risk was attenuated among children born to women who had received antenatal care from a health professional (OR = 0.79, 95% CI = 0.63–0.99). Results also indicated that increasing child age exacerbated the risk for stunting associated with slum residency (OR = 1.19, 95% CI = 1.16–1.23). The findings suggest that improving material circumstances in urban slums at the neighborhood level as well as increasing antenatal care coverage among women living in these neighborhoods could help reduce infant mortality and stunted child growth. The cumulative impact of long-term exposure to slum neighborhoods on child stunting should be corroborated by future studies.