The Born inBradfordproject (pages 22-25, 31 January) studyingBradford's high infant mortality rate is an important study. However, there are a couple of key factors which, in my opinion, did not get due inter-connected emphasis in the article. FirstlyBradford's high infant mortality rate is likely to be partly explained, but perhaps not fully understood, by the much higher proportion of low birth weight babies born to mothers of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin. Secondly, partly due to consanguinious relationships it is likely there is an increased risk of congenital abnormalities in the offspring (mention was made of higher rates of recessive genetic disorders). These babies are at higher risk of infant mortality and in some cases may also have low birth weight again associated with increased infant mortality.
It is important to fully understand the processes involved but not loose sight of the likely prominent factors in order to best advise local communities and services as to how to address them, which no doubt the study is intended to do.
Dr Marie McDevitt
Specialist in Public Health,