This analysis uses data from Bangladesh and the Philippines to demonstrate that children who are born within 15 months of a preceding birth are 60 to 80% more likely than other children to die in the first two years of life, once the confounding effects of prematurity are removed. The risks associated with short conception intervals are confined to children who are also high birth order; they persist in the presence of controls for prior familial child mortality, breast-feeding, mother’s age, and socioeconomic status. In Bangladesh but not in the Philippines, these effects are confined to the neonatal period.

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