DHS Analytical Study: The Association of Deforestation and Other Environmental Factors with Child Health and Mortality

This report uses data from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) conducted in 12 countries in subSaharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean to study the associations between environmental variables and child health outcomes, including child mortality. The environmental variables include forest cover, deforestation, vegetation index, proximity to protected area, and proximity to water. These variables were extracted from external sources and linked to DHS data at the cluster level. Unadjusted and adjusted regression models were fit between each environmental variable and each child health outcome—malaria, dietary diversity, stunting, underweight, anemia, diarrhea, and mortality. The results were mixed and showed few significant findings; however, stunting and underweight had more significant findings than other outcomes.

This study was produced as part of the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) Program, one of the principal sources of international data on fertility, family planning, maternal and child health, nutrition, mortality, environmental health, HIV/AIDS, malaria, and provision of health services. One of the objectives of the Program is to analyze DHS data and provide findings that will be useful to policymakers and program managers in low- and middle-income countries. The topics in the DHS Analytical Studies series are selected by The DHS Program in consultation with the U.S. Agency for International Development.