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    Lewis, Mary E. and Gowland, Rebecca 2007. Brief and precarious lives: Infant mortality in contrasting sites from medieval and post-medieval England (AD 850–1859). American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Vol. 134, Issue. 1, p. 117.

  • Print publication year: 1993
  • Online publication date: March 2008

IV.3 - Infant Mortality

from Part IV - Measuring Health
This chapter reviews some of the relevant research and presents empirical justification for designating the infant mortality rate as the most sensitive indicator of the overall health status of any population group. More specific estimates of mortality in antiquity are limited to occasional estimates of "average life expectancy". Mortality rates have fallen dramatically in much of the world since the early days of the twentieth century, although life expectancy values are still lower than 50 years in a number of the lesser developed countries, particularly in Africa. The primary causes of this enormous mortality decline in the Western world lie in the unprecedented measure of control gained over those infectious and parasitic diseases. To understand more fully the association between income status and levels of infant mortality it is necessary to understand two broad categories of causes of death. These are exogenous causes of death and endogenous causes of death.
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The Cambridge World History of Human Disease
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