Temporal variations of health indicators in Iran comparing with other Eastern Mediterranean Region countries in the last two decades

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Abstract

Background

The recent significant improvement in most health indicators in Iran has not been explored deeply particularly in comparison with other countries in Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR). We aimed to explore the temporal variations of five main indicators in Iran and compare their variations in EMR countries.

Methods

Data on DPT vaccination and birth weight were obtained from EMR office reports, and total fertility rate, under 5 mortality rate (U5MR) and adult literacy rate (ALR) were obtained from WHO sources for the time period 1995–2005. Using linear regression, we modeled the temporal variations in Iran and other EMR countries classified by their human development index (HDI) levels.

Results

The estimated annual decline rate of U5MR in Iran as a middle HDI country was 2.5 per 1000 live birth which was much greater than the corresponding number in countries with medium HDI (1.85) and very close to countries with high HDI (2.67). The WHO data showed that Iran was very successful in increasing ALR.

Conclusion

It seems that most health indicators in Iran have improved more rapidly compared with countries with low and medium HDI in EMR. The improvement rates were also very close to countries with high HDI in the region.

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