Understanding inequalities in cause-specific infant mortality


The key aim of this study is to understand the recent widening inequalities in infant mortality rates (death in the first year of life) by exploring cause-specific mortality by gestation and deprivation. UK Government targets have focused on health inequalities in overall infant mortality, however these overall rates may be masking underlying trends for different causes.


  • To investigate health inequalities in cause-specific infant mortality in England and Wales over time and assess the impact of increasing incidence rates of preterm birth on inequalities in mortality
  • To explore health inequalities in neonatal and perinatal mortality among very preterm births and identify whether service use varies with deprivation at a regional level
  • To explore in detail risk factors for mortality in the neonatal and perinatal period at a local level
  • To develop newly defined cause-specific mortality targets for PCTs accounting for variations in case-mix


"Understanding inequalities in cause-specific infant mortality" is funded as part of the NIHR programme grant "Towards reducing variations in infant mortality and morbidity: a population approach".


This study is led by Lucy Smith.

Local research team

Elaine Boyle, Elizabeth Draper, Julie Faulkes, David Field, Samantha Johnson, Bradley Manktelow,  Lucy Smith


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