Stephen Tollman

Umeå University, Umeå, Västerbotten, Sweden

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Publications (97)376.5 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Social protection grants play a critical role in survival and livelihoods of elderly individuals in South Africa. Rarely is it possible to assess how well a social program reaches its target population. Using a 2010 survey and Agincourt Health Demographic Surveillance System census data we conduct multivariate logistic regression to predict pension receipt in rural South Africa. We find only 80% of age-eligible individuals report pension receipt. Pension non-recipients tend to be male, have poor socio-economic status, live in smaller households, be of Mozambican origin, and have poorer physical function; while older persons living in households receiving other grants are more likely to report pension receipt. We conclude that a reservoir of older persons exists who meet eligibility criteria but who are not yet receiving pensions. Ensuring that they and their households are properly linked to all available social services—whether for child or old-age social grants—is likely to have beneficial and synergistic effects.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
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    ABSTRACT: Background: The disability adjusted life year (DALY) is a composite measure of disease burden that includes both morbidity and mortality, and is relevant to conditions such as epilepsy that can limit productive functioning. The 2010 Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study introduced a number of new methods and definitions, including a prevalence-based approach and revised disability weights to calculate morbidity and new standard life expectancies to calculate premature mortality. We used these approaches, and local, population-based data, to estimate the burden of convulsive epilepsy in rural South Africa. Methods & findings: Comprehensive prevalence, incidence and mortality data on convulsive epilepsy were collected within the Agincourt sub-district in rural northeastern South Africa between 2008 and 2012. We estimated DALYs using both prevalence- and incidence-based approaches for calculating years of life lived with disability. Additionally, we explored how changing the disease model by varying the disability weights influenced DALY estimates. Using the prevalence-based approach, convulsive epilepsy in Agincourt resulted in 332 DALYs (95% uncertainty interval (UI): 216-455) and 4.1 DALYs per 1,000 individuals (95%UI: 2.7-5.7) annually. Of this, 26% was due to morbidity while 74% was due to premature mortality. DALYs increased by 10% when using the incidence-based method. Varying the disability weight from 0.072 (treated epilepsy, seizure free) to 0.657 (severe epilepsy) caused years lived with disability to increase from 18 (95%UI: 16-19) to 161 (95%UI: 143-170). Conclusions: DALY estimates are influenced by both the methods applied and population parameters used in the calculation. Irrespective of method, a significant burden of epilepsy is due to premature mortality in rural South Africa, with a lower burden than rural Kenya. Researchers and national policymakers should carefully interrogate the methods and data used to calculate DALYs as this will influence policy priorities and resource allocation.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: To inform health care and training, resource and research priorities, it is essential to establish how non-communicable disease risk factors vary by HIV-status in high HIV burden areas; and whether long-term anti-retroviral therapy (ART) plays a modifying role. As part of a cohort initiation, we conducted a baseline HIV/cardiometabolic risk factor survey in 2010-2011 using an age-sex stratified random sample of ages 15+ in rural South Africa. We modelled cardiometabolic risk factors and their associations by HIV-status and self-reported ART status for ages 18+ using sex-stratified logistic regression models. Age-standardised HIV prevalence in women was 26% (95% CI 24-28%) and 19% (95% CI 17-21) in men. People with untreated HIV were less likely to have a high waist circumference in both women (OR 0.67; 95% CI 0.52-0.86) and men (OR 0.42; 95% CI 0.22-0.82). Untreated women were more likely to have low HDL and LDL, and treated women high triglycerides. Cardiometabolic risk factors increased with age except low HDL. The prevalence of hypertension was high (40% in women; 30% in men). Sub-Saharan Africa is facing intersecting epidemics of HIV and hypertension. In this setting, around half the adult population require long-term care for at least one of HIV, hypertension or diabetes. Together with the adverse effects that HIV and its treatment have on lipids, this may have serious implications for the South African health care system. Monitoring of the interaction of HIV, ART use, and cardiometabolic disease is needed at both individual and population levels.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · BMC Public Health
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Verbal autopsies (VA) are increasingly used in low- and middle-income countries where most causes of death (COD) occur at home without medical attention, and home deaths differ substantially from hospital deaths. Hence, there is no plausible "standard" against which VAs for home deaths may be validated. Previous studies have shown contradictory performance of automated methods compared to physician-based classification of CODs. We sought to compare the performance of the classic naive Bayes classifier (NBC) versus existing automated classifiers, using physician-based classification as the reference. Methods: We compared the performance of NBC, an open-source Tariff Method (OTM), and InterVA-4 on three datasets covering about 21,000 child and adult deaths: the ongoing Million Death Study in India, and health and demographic surveillance sites in Agincourt, South Africa and Matlab, Bangladesh. We applied several training and testing splits of the data to quantify the sensitivity and specificity compared to physician coding for individual CODs and to test the cause-specific mortality fractions at the population level. Results: The NBC achieved comparable sensitivity (median 0.51, range 0.48-0.58) to OTM (median 0.50, range 0.41-0.51), with InterVA-4 having lower sensitivity (median 0.43, range 0.36-0.47) in all three datasets, across all CODs. Consistency of CODs was comparable for NBC and InterVA-4 but lower for OTM. NBC and OTM achieved better performance when using a local rather than a non-local training dataset. At the population level, NBC scored the highest cause-specific mortality fraction accuracy across the datasets (median 0.88, range 0.87-0.93), followed by InterVA-4 (median 0.66, range 0.62-0.73) and OTM (median 0.57, range 0.42-0.58). Conclusions: NBC outperforms current similar COD classifiers at the population level. Nevertheless, no current automated classifier adequately replicates physician classification for individual CODs. There is a need for further research on automated classifiers using local training and test data in diverse settings prior to recommending any replacement of physician-based classification of verbal autopsies.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · BMC Medicine
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    ABSTRACT: Background Social protection programs issuing cash grants to caregivers of young children may influence fertility. Grant-related income could foster economic independence and/or increase access to job prospects, education, and health services, resulting in lower pregnancy rates. In the other direction, these programs may motivate family expansion in order to receive larger grants. Here, we estimate the net effect of these countervailing mechanisms among rural South African women. Methods We constructed a retrospective cohort of 4845 women who first became eligible for the Child Support Grant with the birth of their first child between 1998 and 2008, with data originally collected by the Agincourt Health and Socio-Demographic Surveillance System in Mpumalanga province, South Africa. We fit Cox regression models to estimate the hazard of second pregnancy in women who reported grant receipt after birth of first child, relative to non-recipients. As a secondary analysis to explore the potential for grant loss to incentivize second pregnancy, we exploited a natural experiment created by a 2003 expansion of the program’s age eligibility criterion from age seven to nine. We compared second pregnancy rates between (i) women with children age seven or eight in 2002 (recently aged out of grant eligibility) to (ii) women with children age seven or eight in 2003 (remained grant-eligible). Results The adjusted hazard ratio for the association between grant exposure and second pregnancy was 0.66 (95% CI: 0.58, 0.75). Women with first children who aged out of grant eligibility in 2002 had similar second pregnancy rates to women with first children who remained grant-eligible in 2003 [IRR (95% CI): 0.9 (0.5, 1.4)]. Conclusions Across both primary and secondary analyses, we found no evidence that the Child Support Grant incentivizes pregnancy. In harmony with South African population policy, receipt of the Child Support Grant may result in longer spacing between pregnancies.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · PLoS ONE
  • P. Byass · M. A. Collinson · S. M. Tollman · K. Kahn

    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Tropical Medicine & International Health

  • No preview · Article · Jul 2015 · Journal of the International AIDS Society
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    ABSTRACT: Background Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions globally, estimated to consti- tute 0.75% of the global burden of disease, with the majority of this burden found in low- and middle- income countries (LMICs). Few studies from LMICs, including much of sub-Saharan Africa, have described the incidence, remission or mortality rates due to epilepsy, which are needed to quantify the burden and inform policy. This study investigates the epidemiological parameters of convulsive epilepsy within a context of high HIV prevalence and an emerging burden of cardiovascular disease. Methods A cross-sectional population survey of 82,818 individuals, in the Agincourt Health and Socio-demographic Surveillance Site (HDSS) in rural northeast South Africa was conducted in 2008, from which 296 people were identified with active convulsive epilepsy. A follow-up survey was conducted in 2012. Incidence and mortality rates were estimated, with duration and remission rates calculated using the DISMOD II software package. Results The crude incidence for convulsive epilepsy was 17.4/100,000 per year (95%CI: 13.1-23.0). Remission was 4.6% and 3.9% per year for males and females, respectively. The standard- ized mortality ratio was 2.6 (95%CI: 1.7-3.5), with 33.3% of deaths directly related to epilep- sy. Mortality was higher in men than women (adjusted rate ratio (aRR) 2.6 (95%CI: 1.2- 5.4)), and was significantly associated with older ages (50+ years versus those 0-5 years old (RR 4.8 (95%CI: 0.6-36.4)). Conclusions The crude incidence was lower whilst mortality rates were similar to other African studies; however, this study found higher mortality amongst older males. Efforts aimed at further un- derstanding what causes epilepsy in older people and developing interventions to reduce prolonged seizures are likely to reduce the overall burden of ACE in rural South Africa.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: Maternal mortality, the HIV/AIDS pandemic, and child survival are closely linked. This study contributes evidence on the impact of maternal death on children's risk of dying in an HIV-endemic population in rural South Africa. We used data for children younger than 10 years from the Agincourt health and socio-demographic surveillance system (1992 - 2013). We used discrete time event history analysis to estimate children's risk of dying when they experienced a maternal death compared to children whose mother survived (N=3,740,992 child months). We also examined variation in risk due to cause of maternal death. We defined mother's survival status as early maternal death (during pregnancy, childbirth, or within 42 days of most recent childbirth or identified cause of death), late maternal death (within 43-365 days of most recent childbirth), any other death, and mothers who survived. Children who experienced an early maternal death were at 15 times the risk of dying (RRR 15.2; 95% CI 8.3-27.9) compared to children whose mother survived. Children under 1 month whose mother died an early (p=0.002) maternal death were at increased risk of dying compared to older children. Children whose mothers died of an HIV/AIDS or TB-related early maternal death were at 29 times the risk of dying compared to children with surviving mothers (RRR 29.2; 95% CI 11.7-73.1). The risk of these children dying was significantly higher than those children whose mother died of a HIV/AIDS or TB-related non-maternal death (p=0.017). This study contributes further evidence on the impact of a mother's death on child survival in a poor, rural setting with high HIV prevalence. The intersecting epidemics of maternal mortality and HIV/AIDS - especially in sub-Saharan Africa - have profound implications for maternal and child health and well-being. Such evidence can help guide public and primary health care practice and interventions.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Reproductive Health
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    ABSTRACT: Exposure to alcohol outlets may influence sexual health outcomes at the individual and community levels. Visiting alcohol outlets facilitates alcohol consumption and exposes patrons to a risky environment and network of potential partners, whereas the presence of alcohol outlets in the community may shift social acceptance of riskier behavior. We hypothesize that living in communities with more alcohol outlets is associated with increased sexual risk. We performed a cross-sectional analysis in a sample of 2174 South African schoolgirls (ages 13-21 years) living across 24 villages in the rural Agincourt subdistrict, underpinned by long-term health and sociodemographic surveillance. To examine the association between number of alcohol outlets in village of residence and individual-level prevalent herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection, we used generalized estimating equations with logit links, adjusting for individual- and village-level covariates. The median number of alcohol outlets per village was 3 (range, 0-7). Herpes simplex virus type 2 prevalence increased from villages with no outlets (1.4% [95% confidence interval, 0.2-12.1]), to villages with 1 to 4 outlets (4.5% [3.7-5.5]), and to villages with more than 4 outlets (6.3% [5.6, 7.1]). An increase of 1 alcohol outlet per village was associated with an 11% increase in the odds of HSV-2 infection (adjusted odds ratio [95% confidence interval], 1.11 [0.98-1.25]). Living in villages with more alcohol outlets was associated with increased prevalence of HSV-2 infection in young women. Structural interventions and sexual health screenings targeting villages with extensive alcohol outlet environments could help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections.
    Full-text · Article · May 2015 · Sexually transmitted diseases
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    ABSTRACT: Research from sub-Saharan Africa has demonstrated lower fertility among HIV+ women compared to same-age HIV- women, except among teens where the pattern reverses. These differences have been explained by earlier sexual debut among HIV+ women. This study uses HIV prevalence data collected in the Agincourt Health and Socio-Demographic Surveillance System to examine differences by HIV status in women’s likelihood of having a birth in 2010 and several sexual risk behaviors associated with HIV status and fertility. Results show a lower likelihood of birth among HIV+ women, except for those in their twenties who experience the opposite pattern. HIV+ women also experience significantly more sexual risk behaviors; however, the association between HIV+ women in their twenties and higher odds of birth is robust to these factors. The unique combination of changing fertility and marriage patterns, high HIV prevalence, and condom use among HIV+ women may help explain these associations.
    Full-text · Conference Paper · Apr 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Sexual activity may be less likely to occur during periods of school enrolment because of the structured and supervised environment provided, the education obtained and the safer peer networks encountered while enrolled. We examined whether school enrolment was associated with teen pregnancy in South Africa. Using longitudinal demographic surveillance data from the rural Agincourt sub-district, we reconstructed the school enrolment status from 2000 through 2011 for 15 457 young women aged 12-18 years and linked them to the estimated conception date for each pregnancy during this time. We examined the effect of time-varying school enrolment on teen pregnancy using a Cox proportional hazard model, adjusting for: age; calendar year; household socioeconomic status; household size; and gender, educational attainment and employment of household head. A secondary analysis compared the incidence of pregnancy among school enrolees by calendar time: school term vs school holiday. School enrolment was associated with lower teen pregnancy rates [adjusted hazard ratio (95% confidence interval): 0.57 (0.50, 0.65)].This association was robust to potential misclassification of school enrolment. For those enrolled in school, pregnancy occurred less commonly during school term than during school holidays [incidence rate ratio (95% confidence interval): 0.90 (0.78, 1.04)]. Young women who drop out of school may be at higher risk for teen pregnancy and could likely benefit from receipt of accessible and high quality sexual health services. Preventive interventions designed to keep young women in school or addressing the underlying causes of dropout may also help reduce the incidence of teen pregnancy. © The Author 2015; all rights reserved. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the International Epidemiological Association.
    No preview · Article · Feb 2015 · International Journal of Epidemiology
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    ABSTRACT: Epilepsy is one of the most common neurological conditions globally, estimated to constitute 0.75% of the global burden of disease, with the majority of this burden found in low- and middle- income countries (LMICs). Few studies from LMICs, including much of sub-Saharan Africa, have described the incidence, remission or mortality rates due to epilepsy, which are needed to quantify the burden and inform policy. This study investigates the epidemiological parameters of convulsive epilepsy within a context of high HIV prevalence and an emerging burden of cardiovascular disease. A cross-sectional population survey of 82,818 individuals, in the Agincourt Health and Socio-demographic Surveillance Site (HDSS) in rural northeast South Africa was conducted in 2008, from which 296 people were identified with active convulsive epilepsy. A follow-up survey was conducted in 2012. Incidence and mortality rates were estimated, with duration and remission rates calculated using the DISMOD II software package. The crude incidence for convulsive epilepsy was 17.4/100,000 per year (95%CI: 13.1-23.0). Remission was 4.6% and 3.9% per year for males and females, respectively. The standardized mortality ratio was 2.6 (95%CI: 1.7-3.5), with 33.3% of deaths directly related to epilepsy. Mortality was higher in men than women (adjusted rate ratio (aRR) 2.6 (95%CI: 1.2-5.4)), and was significantly associated with older ages (50+ years versus those 0-5 years old (RR 4.8 (95%CI: 0.6-36.4)). The crude incidence was lower whilst mortality rates were similar to other African studies; however, this study found higher mortality amongst older males. Efforts aimed at further understanding what causes epilepsy in older people and developing interventions to reduce prolonged seizures are likely to reduce the overall burden of ACE in rural South Africa.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: We conducted a community survey to estimate the prevalence and describe the features, risk factors, and consequences of convulsive status epilepticus (CSE) among people with active convulsive epilepsy (ACE) identified in a multisite survey in Africa. METHODS: We obtained clinical histories of CSE and neurologic examination data among 1,196 people with ACE identified from a population of 379,166 people in 3 sites: Agincourt, South Africa; Iganga-Mayuge, Uganda; and Kilifi, Kenya. We performed serologic assessment for the presence of antibodies to parasitic infections and HIV and determined adherence to antiepileptic drugs. Consequences of CSE were assessed using a questionnaire. Logistic regression was used to identify risk factors. RESULTS: The adjusted prevalence of CSE in ACE among the general population across the 3 sites was 2.3 per 1,000, and differed with site (p < 0.0001). Over half (55%) of CSE occurred in febrile illnesses and focal seizures were present in 61%. Risk factors for CSE in ACE were neurologic impairments, acute encephalopathy, previous hospitalization, and presence of antibody titers to falciparum malaria and HIV; these differed across sites. Burns (15%), lack of education (49%), being single (77%), and unemployment (78%) were common in CSE; these differed across the 3 sites. Nine percent with and 10% without CSE died. CONCLUSIONS: CSE is common in people with ACE in Africa; most occurs with febrile illnesses, is untreated, and has focal features suggesting preventable risk factors. Effective prevention and the management of infections and neurologic impairments may reduce the burden of CSE in ACE.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Neurology
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    ABSTRACT: Given the importance of Africa to studies of human origins and disease susceptibility, detailed characterization of African genetic diversity is needed. The African Genome Variation Project provides a resource with which to design, implement and interpret genomic studies in sub-Saharan Africa and worldwide. The African Genome Variation Project represents dense genotypes from 1,481 individuals and whole-genome sequences from 320 individuals across sub-Saharan Africa. Using this resource, we find novel evidence of complex, regionally distinct hunter-gatherer and Eurasian admixture across sub-Saharan Africa. We identify new loci under selection, including loci related to malaria susceptibility and hypertension. We show that modern imputation panels (sets of reference genotypes from which unobserved or missing genotypes in study sets can be inferred) can identify association signals at highly differentiated loci across populations in sub-Saharan Africa. Using whole-genome sequencing, we demonstrate further improvements in imputation accuracy, strengthening the case for large-scale sequencing efforts of diverse African haplotypes. Finally, we present an efficient genotype array design capturing common genetic variation in Africa.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Nature
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    ABSTRACT: South Africa has a high and rising prevalence of hypertension. Many affected individuals are not using medication, and few have controlled blood pressure. Until recently, primary care clinics focused on maternal and child health and management of acute conditions, but new government initiatives have shifted the focus to chronic diseases, including HIV/AIDS and hypertension. The Nkateko trial will test the effectiveness of clinic-based lay health workers (LHWs) in supporting hypertension management. It is a pragmatic, cluster randomised controlled trial based in the Agincourt subdistrict of northeast South Africa, and it is underpinned by long-term health and demographic surveillance. Eight primary care facilities, with their catchment communities, are randomised to usual care or the addition of LHWs focused on chronic care. All clinics (intervention and control) will be provided with a clerk to collect information on clinic attendees and will match them to preexisting surveillance records. Intervention clinics will have LHWs working alongside nursing staff and focusing on health care for people with chronic conditions, particularly hypertension. The LHWs will be supported by an implementation manager, who will work with clinic staff to develop the most effective role for the LHWs. Control clinics will continue to provide usual care. The primary outcome will be the change between two population surveys conducted before and after the intervention in the proportion of the population with uncontrolled hypertension and a risk profile indicating at least moderate risk of cardiovascular disease. A process evaluation will be based on a realist approach using patient exit interviews, clinic observations and interviews with health professionals, LHWs and patients to document the intervention and its implementation. There are challenges in the design of this trial. Assessing change through population surveys may reduce measurable effects; however, we feel this is appropriate because we aim to attract those who currently do not use clinics, and we hope to improve care for clinic users. Clinics were randomised at an open meeting because we were concerned that a remote process of randomisation would not be trusted by the community. We are constantly working to achieve an effective balance between the intervention and process evaluations. Trial registration ISRCTN12128227 (registered 5 March 2014)
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Trials
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    ABSTRACT: The MRC/Wits University Agincourt research centre, part of the INDEPTH Network, has documented mortality in a defined population in the rural northeast of South Africa for 20 years (1992-2011) using long-term health and socio-demographic surveillance. Detail on the unfolding, at times unpredicted, mortality pattern has been published. This experience is reviewed here and updated using more recent data. To present a review and summary of mortality patterns across all age-sex groups in the Agincourt sub-district population for the period 1992-2011 as a comprehensive basis for public health action. Vital events in the Agincourt population have been updated in annual surveys undertaken since 1992. All deaths have been rigorously recorded and followed by verbal autopsy interviews. Responses to questions from these interviews have been processed retrospectively using the WHO 2012 verbal autopsy standard and the InterVA-4 model for assigning causes of death in a standardised manner. Between 1992 and 2011, a total of 12,209 deaths were registered over 1,436,195 person-years of follow-up, giving a crude mortality rate of 8.5 per 1,000 person-years. During the 20-year period, the population experienced a major HIV epidemic, which resulted in more than doubling of overall mortality for an extended period. Recent years show signs of declining mortality, but levels remain above the 1992 baseline recorded using the surveillance system. The Agincourt population has experienced a major mortality shock over the past two decades from which it will take time to recover. The basic epidemic patterns are consistent with generalised mortality patterns observed in South Africa as a whole, but the detailed individual surveillance behind these analyses allows finer-grained analyses of specific causes, age-related risks, and trends over time. These demonstrate the complex, somewhat unpredicted course of mortality transition over the years since the dawn of South Africa's democratic era in 1994.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Global Health Action
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    Kurt Sartorius · Benn Sartorius · Stephen Tollman · Mark Collinson

    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · Development Southern Africa
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Health and Demographic Surveillance Systems (HDSS) collect independent mortality data that could be used for assessing the quality of mortality data in national civil registration (CR) systems in low- and middle-income countries. However, the use of HDSS data for such purposes depends on the quality of record linkage between the two data sources. We describe and evaluate the quality of record linkage between HDSS and CR mortality data in South Africa with HDSS data from Agincourt HDSS.Methods: We applied deterministic and probabilistic record linkage approaches to mortality records from 2006 to 2009 from the Agincourt HDSS and those in the CR system. Quality of the matches generated by the probabilistic approach was evaluated using sensitivity and positive predictive value (PPV) calculated from a subset of records that were linked using national identity number. Matched and unmatched records from the Agincourt HDSS were compared to identify characteristics associated with successful matching. In addition, the distribution of background characteristics in all deaths that occurred in 2009 and those linked to CR records was compared to assess systematic bias in the resulting record-linked dataset in the latest time period.Results: Deterministic and probabilistic record linkage approaches combined linked a total of 2264 out of 3726 (60.8%) mortality records from the Agincourt HDSS to those in the CR system. Probabilistic approaches independently linked 1969 (87.0%) of the linked records. In a subset of 708 records that were linked using national identity number, the probabilistic approaches yielded sensitivity of 90.0% and PPV of 98.5%. Records belonging to more vulnerable people, including poorer persons, young children, and non-South Africans were less likely to be matched. Nevertheless, distribution of most background characteristics was similar between all Agincourt HDSS deaths and those matched to CR records in the latest time period.Conclusion: This study shows that record linkage of mortality data from HDSS and CR systems is possible and can be useful in South Africa. The study identifies predictors for death registration and data items and registration system characteristics that could be improved to achieve more optimal future matching possibilities.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2014 · Population Health Metrics
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    ABSTRACT: Background: South African civil registration (CR) provides a key data source for local health decision making, and informs the levels and causes of mortality in data-lacking sub-Saharan African countries. We linked mortality data from CR and the Agincourt Health and Socio-demographic Surveillance System (Agincourt HDSS) to examine the quality of rural CR data. Methods: Deterministic and probabilistic techniques were used to link death data from 2006 to 2009. Causes of death were aggregated into the WHO Mortality Tabulation List 1 and a locally relevant short list of 15 causes. The matching rate was compared with informant-reported death registration. Using the VA diagnoses as reference, misclassification patterns, sensitivity, positive predictive values and cause-specific mortality fractions (CSMFs) were calculated for the short list. Results: A matching rate of 61% [95% confidence interval (CI): 59.2 to 62.3] was attained, lower than the informant-reported registration rate of 85% (CI: 83.4 to 85.8). For the 2264 matched cases, cause agreement was 15% (kappa 0.1083, CI: 0.0995 to 0.1171) for the WHO list, and 23% (kappa 0.1631, CI: 0.1511 to 0.1751) for the short list. CSMFs were significantly different for all but four (tuberculosis, cerebrovascular disease, other heart disease, and ill-defined natural) of the 15 causes evaluated. Conclusion: Despite data limitations, it is feasible to link official CR and HDSS verbal autopsy data. Data linkage proved a promising method to provide empirical evidence about the quality and utility of rural CR mortality data. Agreement of individual causes of death was low but, at the population level, careful interpretation of the CR data can assist health prioritization and planning.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2014 · International Journal of Epidemiology

Publication Stats

1k Citations
376.50 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2008-2015
    • Umeå University
      • Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine
      Umeå, Västerbotten, Sweden
  • 1993-2015
    • University of the Witwatersrand
      • • School of Public Health
      • • Faculty of Health Sciences
      • • Centre for Health Policy (CHP)
      Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
  • 2014
    • University of Toronto
      Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2012
    • University of Colorado at Boulder
      • Institute of Behavioral Science (IBS)
      Boulder, Colorado, United States
  • 2006
    • American University Washington D.C.
      Washington, Washington, D.C., United States
  • 1999
    • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
      Londinium, England, United Kingdom
  • 1995
    • Johannesburg Hospital
      Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa