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Infant Mortality and Adult Stature in Spain

Referierte Aufsätze Web of Science

Carlos Bozzoli, Mariano Bosch, Climent Quintana-Domeque

In: Social Science & Medicine 72 (2011), 11, S. 1893-1903


This paper presents new evidence concerning the relationship between environmental conditions in the year of birth (as reflected in the infant mortality rate (IMR) and gross domestic product per capita) and adult health (adult height). We perform an analysis across Spanish regions for cohorts born between 1961 and 1980, a period when the country underwent a socio-economic and political transformation. We find that a reduction in the IMR of 30 individuals per 1,000 (similar to that achieved by Spain between 1961 and 1980) explains an increase in average height of about 2.7 cm, about 70% of the gain in average adult stature during this period. Our results, which are robust to several adjustments, suggest that the burden of disease in childhood can have long-lasting effects on health, and that these are reflected in differences in adult stature.

Keywords: infant mortality, height, income, inequality, Spain, economic conditions