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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Rutgers: Study Explores Infant Mortality in Moscow to Measure Intra-Urban Inequalities

A recent Rutgers School of Public Health study found that despite infant mortality in Moscow declining by nearly half  between 2000 and 2014, there is a substantial intra-city variation. The highest neighborhood infant mortality rate was nearly four times that of the city average.

Moscow is Russia’s largest and most affluent city. Prior research on intra-urban infant mortality focuses on high-income countries, with little attention paid to middle-income countries, like Russia.

The researchers, led by Dr. Irina B. Grafova, found that infant mortality rate in higher-income neighborhoods was significantly lower than in lower-income neighborhoods. They also found that there are significant inequalities associated with accessing the public healthcare system. In addition, a higher density of physicians and nurses in a neighborhood is correlated with a lower infant mortality rate. However, the density of public and private hospital beds and the density of private physicians and private nurses has no significant effect.

“Infant mortality rate is an important denotation of social welfare, population health, and health system performance. To our knowledge, this is the first study of intra-Moscow variation across 125 city neighborhoods,” said Dr. Grafova.

Overall progress on health outcomes and measures of access does not, in itself, solve the challenge of intra-urban inequalities.

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