Research Article: Measuring Adult Mortality Using Sibling Survival: A New Analytical Method and New Results for 44 Countries, 1974–2006

Date Published: April 13, 2010

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Ziad Obermeyer, Julie Knoll Rajaratnam, Chang H. Park, Emmanuela Gakidou, Margaret C. Hogan, Alan D. Lopez, Christopher J. L. Murray, Ian Timaeus

Abstract: Julie Rajaratnam and colleagues describe a novel method, called the Corrected Sibling Survival method, to measure adult mortality in countries without good vital registration by use of histories taken from surviving siblings.

Partial Text: For several decades, global public health efforts have focused on the development and application of disease control programs to improve child survival in developing countries. Technologies for preventing and successfully treating the leading causes of death in children are available, and their increasing effective use is leading to continuing declines in child mortality. The need to reliably monitor the impact of such intervention programs in countries has led to significant advances in demographic methods and data sources, particularly from large-scale. cross-national survey programs such as the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) [1]–[3]. As a consequence, levels and trends of child mortality are reasonably well understood in most countries [4],[5].

In this paper, we presented an improved method for analyzing sibling survival data that adjusts for two key forms of bias present in survey data: survival and recall bias. We demonstrated its application using 83 surveys undertaken in 44 countries. This method greatly expands our direct empirical knowledge of levels and trends in adult mortality in developing countries without resorting to the use of demographic model life tables. Adult mortality measurement from empirical data will decrease the dependence of the global health community on uncertain predictions from levels of child mortality and provide for better tracking of progress toward major health and development targets.



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