Neonatal Mortality and Temperature in Two Northern Swedish Rural Parishes, 1860-1899: the Significance of Ethnicity and Gender

Lena Karlsson , Umeå University
Erling Lundevaller, Umeå University
Barbara Schumann,

The aim of this study was to analyse the association between local temperature and neonatal mortality in two Swedish rural parishes between 1860 and 1899. Further, we aimed to study whether the association varied according to ethnicity (indigenous Sami reindeer herders and non-Sami settlers) and gender. The source material for this study constituted of digitised parish records from the Demographic Data Base, Umeå University, combined with local weather data provided by the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute. Following a time event history approach, we investigated the association between daily temperature (at birth and up to 28 days following birth) and risks of neonatal death during the coldest months (November through March). Results revealed that the Sami neonatal was higher during winter and that the Sami neonatal mortality risk decreased with higher temperature at the day of birth. Male neonatal risk decreased with higher temperature on the days following birth, while no effect of temperature was observed among the female neonates. We conclude that weather vulnerability differed between genders and between indigenous and non-indigenous populations.

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 Presented in Session 24. Health and Well-being of the Youngest: Infant and Child Mortality