Socioeconomic differences in fetal and infant mortality in Scandinavia

J Public Health Policy. 1993 Spring;14(1):82-90.


This study demonstrates that socioeconomic differences do exist in all three Scandinavian countries, and these differences have implications for perinatal and infant survival. Using parental education as a proxy for socioeconomic conditions, the association with perinatal survival seems to be stronger in Denmark and Norway than in Sweden. For postneonatal mortality the association is equally strong in the three countries. Data from one of the countries (Norway) demonstrates the joint importance of parental education, and the association with paternal education is equally strong as that with maternal education. If father and mother have the lowest level of education, their offspring has 50 to 80% higher perinatal and infant mortality risks. These observations call for further research into the association between social variables and health in order to tease out causal relationships which might lead to future preventive actions.

MeSH terms

  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant Mortality*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Scandinavian and Nordic Countries / epidemiology
  • Social Class
  • Socioeconomic Factors