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    Peer Reviewed

    More resources better health? A cross-national perspective.

    Kim K; Moody PM

    Social Science and Medicine. 1992 Apr; 34(8):837-42.

    Researchers analyzed data from 117 countries taken from 2 1988 World Bank publications to determine the relative importance of health care resources in predicting infant mortality within developed, developing and underdeveloped countries. Overall the variance of infant mortality, accounted by only socioeconomic resources, was 32.8% in underdeveloped (p<.01), 34.3% in developing countries (p<.05), and 60.6% in developed countries (p<.1). Further almost all these variables had constant directions of relationship with infant mortality across the 3 subgroups. For example, GNP and education were always negatively associated with infant mortality and urbanization and water were always positively associated with infant mortality. In fact, water had the greatest effect in developing countries and the smallest in underdeveloped countries. Further education was the only statistically significant socioeconomic variable in underdeveloped and developing countries (p<.05). Energy was inversely related with infant mortality in underdeveloped and developing countries, but positively related with it in industrialized countries. Further calorie had an inverse relationship with infant mortality in underdeveloped countries, but a positive relationship in developing and developed countries. In terms of health resources, the variance of infant mortality was not significant and was only an additional 8.6% of that above the variance explained by socioeconomic resources in underdeveloped countries, 5.6% in developing countries, and 3.3% in industrialized countries. Yet the association between inhabitants/ physician was consistent across all subgroups. Further the physician's role in reducing infant mortality was greatest in developing countries. The other 2 health care variables were inhabitants/nurse and inhabitants/hospital bed. In addition, as life expectancy increased, the effects of health care resources on infant mortality fell.
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