Effects of perinatal conditions and local area socioeconomic status on early childhood mortality in New South Wales - linked data analysis

Category Child Death Review Team / Reviewable Deaths
Publication Date 9 December 2022


This report analyses the relationship between early childhood mortality and maternal and baby characteristics at the time of birth (perinatal conditions) using a linked data set covering all babies born in NSW between 2005 and 2018.  Linkage to NSW and national death registration records identify the children who died by the end of 2019, and their age at death. Connecting the death records to the full birth cohorts allows the risk factors for child mortality to be better identified through multivariate regression analyses that can directly compare the characteristics of babies who have died with the characteristics of babies who have survived to specific ages.

This report was prepared by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) for the CDRT and builds on previous analyses by the AIHW of the CDRT Register of Child Deaths.

The key findings include:

  • Preterm birth and birthweight small for gestational age were the most consistent risk factors for infant mortality
  • The gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous infant mortality narrowed considerably over the 15-year study period
  • Risk factors for death in ages 1 to 4 include birthweight small for gestational age and maternal smoking during pregnancy
  • Preterm birth was not a significant risk factor for death in ages 1 to 4, including for babies born under 32 weeks gestational age.

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