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Mortality burden and socioeconomic status in India

Mortality burden and socioeconomic status in India

Po, June Y. T. ORCID: 0000-0001-6124-8235 and Subramanian, S. V. (2011) Mortality burden and socioeconomic status in India. PLoS ONE, 6 (2):e16844. ISSN 1932-6203 (Online) (doi:

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The dimensions along which mortality is patterned in India remains unclear. We examined the specific contribution of social castes, household income, assets, and monthly per capita consumption to mortality differentials in India.

Methods and Findings
Cross-sectional data on 217 363 individuals from 41 554 households from the 2004–2005 India Human Development Survey was analyzed using multiple logistic regressions. Mortality differentials across social castes were attenuated after adjusting for household economic factors such as income and assets. Individuals living in the lowest income and assets quintiles had an increased risk of mortality with odds ratio (OR) of 1.66 (95% CI  = 1.23–2.24) in the bottom income quintile and OR of 2.94 (95% CI  = 1.66–5.22) in the bottom asset quintile. Counter-intuitively, individuals living in households with lowest monthly consumption per capita had significantly lower probability of death (OR  = 0.27, 95% CI  = 0.20–0.38).

Mortality burden in India is largely patterned on economic dimensions as opposed to caste dimensions, though caste may play an important role in predicting economic opportunities.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2011 Po, Subramanian. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: castes, India, social-economic status, mortality
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Livelihoods & Institutions Department
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2020 15:52

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