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BACKGROUND: The U.N. health and well-being goals for 2030 focus on maternal and child health outcomes, among others. Challenges to meeting those goals vary widely throughout Nepal owing to the range of sociocultural factors, infrastructural limitations, physical geography and altitudes. This article explores sociocultural and biological influences on fertility and child survival among ethnically Tibetan women in Nepal. METHODS: This is a cross sectional study of 430 women, age 46-86 years old, citizens of Nepal and native residents above 3500m in Mustang District, who provided interview and physiological data. Univariate Poisson regression analyses selected significant variables to include in multivariate Poisson regressions investigating the number of pregnancies, livebirths, child survival and death outcomes. RESULTS: Earlier age at first pregnancy, later age at last pregnancy, and miscarriages associated with more pregnancies. Miscarriages and stillbirths associated with fewer livebirths. Higher maternal BMI and FEV6 associated with fewer children dying before age 15. Marital characteristics (status, type, continuity), contraceptive use, relative wealth, and education influenced these covariates. CONCLUSIONS: Low maternal pulmonary function and nutritional status predict poorer child survival in Upper Mustang. Addressing poor lung function and nutrition may improve reproductive outcomes among ethnically Tibetan women living at high altitude.

Original publication




Journal article


J Nepal Health Res Counc

Publication Date





748 - 753


Child survival; fertility; high-altitude; Nepal; women., Abortion, Spontaneous, Adolescent, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Child, Cross-Sectional Studies, Female, Humans, Middle Aged, Nepal, Pregnancy, Reproductive History, Tibet