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Infant deaths from congenital anomalies: novel use of Child Death Overview Panel data
  1. Catriona Firth1,2,
  2. Emily Petherick3,4,
  3. Sam J Oddie1,5
  1. 1 Bradford Royal Infirmary, Neonatal Unit, Bradford, UK
  2. 2 School of Medicine, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
  3. 3 Bradford Institute for Health Research, Born in Bradford, Bradford, UK
  4. 4 School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK
  5. 5 Centre for reviews and dissemination, University of York, York, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Catriona Firth, Neonatal Unit, Bradford Royal Infirmary, Bradford BD9 6RJ, UK; Catriona-elizabeth.firth{at}


Objective We aimed to assess Child Death Overview Panel (CDOP) data validity, and cause of death classification, by comparison with information from a local birth cohort study (Born in Bradford, BiB), and another cause of death coding system (causes of death and associated conditions—CODAC). We then aimed to use CDOP data to calculate ethnic-specific infant mortality rates (IMRs), and compare characteristics of infants who died of congenital anomalies (CA) with those who died from other causes (non-CA).

Design Retrospective cohort study.

Setting Bradford Metropolitan District.

Patients All infant deaths, 2008 to 2013.

Main outcome measures Infant mortality rates from CA and non-CA causes.

Results 315 infant deaths were included, 56 of whom were BiB recruits. Agreement between CDOP and BiB was moderate to perfect for all characteristics except ethnicity, which showed weak agreement (kappa=0.58). The same deaths (27/56) were classified as CA by CDOP and CODAC. IMRs (per 1000 live births, 2009–2013) were highest in Pakistani infants (all causes 9.8, CA cause 5.5) compared with white British (all causes 4.3, CA cause 1.3) and other infants (all causes 5.1, CA cause 1.4). In multivariate analysis, infants who died of CA cause were more likely to have been born at term (OR 3.18) and to consanguineous parents (OR 3.28) than infants who died of non-CA cause.

Conclusions Excess Pakistani mortality appears to be partly explained by an excess of deaths from CA, which in this population appears associated with a greater prevalence of consanguinity.

  • infant mortality
  • congenital anomaly
  • ethnicity

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  • Contributors CF and SJO had the initial idea for the study, an original version of which formed the dissertation for CF’s MSc in Child Health (for which SJO and EP were supervisors). All three authors were involved in the study design. CF carried out the data collection. EP advised regarding statistics and performed the Stata analysis. CF wrote a draft version of this work. All three authors were subsequently involved in revisions and gave final approval of the version submitted for publication and agreed to be accountable for all aspects of this work.

  • Funding This work was initially completed by CF as part of an MSc in Child Health, which was funded by the School of Medicine, University of Leeds.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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