Maternal education and fetal and infant mortality in Quebec. Fetal and Infant Mortality Study Group of the Canadian Perinatal Surveillance System

Health Rep. Autumn 1998;10(2):53-64 (Eng); 57-70 (Fre).
[Article in English, French]


Objectives: This article examines differences in fetal and infant mortality by maternal education in the province of Quebec, where the rates are among the lowest in Canada.

Data source: The data are from linked birth and infant death records (including stillbirths) for the 1990-1991 birth cohorts in Quebec.

Main results: Fetal and infant mortality rates were greater for the offspring of mothers with less than 12 years of education, compared with mothers with at least 14 years, even after adjusting for maternal age, parity, marital status and infant's sex. When intermediate factors such as birthweight or both gestational age and fetal growth were taken into account, the differentials in mortality by education diminished. If all education groups had experienced the low rates attained by the higher education group, the number of fetal and infant deaths would have been reduced by approximately 20%.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Female
  • Fetal Death / epidemiology*
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant Mortality*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Maternal Behavior*
  • Mothers / education*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Pregnancy
  • Quebec / epidemiology