The Global Network Socioeconomic Status Index as a predictor of stillbirths, perinatal mortality, and neonatal mortality in rural communities in low and lower middle income country sites of the Global Network for Women’s and Children’s Health Research

Academic Article


  • Background Globally, socioeconomic status (SES) is an important health determinant across a range of health conditions and diseases. However, measuring SES within low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) can be particularly challenging given the variation and diversity of LMIC populations. Objective The current study investigates whether maternal SES as assessed by the newly developed Global Network-SES Index is associated with pregnancy outcomes (stillbirths, perinatal mortality, and neonatal mortality) in six LMICs: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Pakistan, and Zambia. Methods The analysis included data from 87,923 women enrolled in the Maternal and Newborn Health Registry of the NICHD-funded Global Network for Women’s and Children’s Health Research. Generalized estimating equations models were computed for each outcome by SES level (high, moderate, or low) and controlling for site, maternal age, parity, years of schooling, body mass index, and facility birth, including sampling cluster as a random effect. Results Women with low SES had significantly higher risks for stillbirth (p < 0.001), perinatal mortality (p = 0.001), and neonatal mortality (p = 0.005) than women with high SES. In addition, those with moderate SES had significantly higher risks of stillbirth (p = 0.003) and perinatal mortality (p = 0.008) in comparison to those with high SES. Conclusion The SES categories were associated with pregnancy outcomes, supporting the validity of the index as a non–income-based measure of SES for use in studies of pregnancy outcomes in LMICs.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • PLoS One  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Patel AB; Bann CM; Kolhe CS; Lokangaka A; Tshefu A; Bauserman M; Figueroa L; Krebs NF; Esamai F; Bucher S
  • Volume

  • 17
  • Issue

  • 8 August