Maternal Height, Childhood Nutritional Status and Adult Mortality in Latin America

Alberto Palloni, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Rengin Aktar, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Past studies have shown that height is an effective predictor of the risk of mortality and morbidity in adult years. The predictive power of height is based on its quality as an indicator of genetic and environmental factors acting from in-utero period to early adulthood. Given these features, we explore the role played by parental height, and its significance as a marker of parent-children influences via phenotypic and epigenetic changes. To do so, we first investigate the strength of the relation between the height of parents and offspring, the likelihood of early stunting, and infant and child mortality in a number of Latin American countries, by using recent Demographic and Health Surveys. Later, we employ these relations jointly with exceptional information of adult female and male heights for the period 1820-1930, in order to estimate the prevalence of childhood stunting and infant and child mortality for that period.

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Presented in Session 128: Health and Mortality in Developing Countries