Modelling the number of antenatal care visits in Bangladesh to determine the risk factors for reduced antenatal care attendance

Kakoli Rani Bhowmik, Sumonkanti Das, Md Atiqul Islam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The existence of excess zeros in the distribution of antenatal care (ANC) visits in Bangladesh raises the research question of whether there are two separate generating processes in taking ANC and the frequency of ANC. Thus the main objective of this study is to identify a proper count regression model for the number of ANC visits by pregnant women in Bangladesh covering the issues of overdispersion, zero-inflation, and intra-cluster correlation with an additional objective of determining risk factors for ANC use and its frequency. The data have been extracted from the nationally representative 2014 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey, where 22% of the total 4493 women did not take any ANC during pregnancy. Since these zero ANC visits can be either structural or sampling zeros, two-part zero-inflated and hurdle regression models are investigated along with the standard one-part count regression models. Correlation among response values has been accounted for by incorporating cluster-specific random effects in the models. The hurdle negative binomial regression model with cluster-specific random intercepts in both the zero and the count part is found to be the best model according to various diagnostic tools including likelihood ratio and uniformity tests. The results show that women who have poor education, live in poor households, have less access to mass media, or belong to the Sylhet and Chittagong regions are less likely to use ANC and also have fewer ANC visits. Additionally, women who live in rural areas, depend on family members' decisions to take health care, and have unintended pregnancies had fewer ANC visits. The findings recommend taking both cluster-specific random effects and overdispersion and zero-inflation into account in modelling the ANC data of Bangladesh. Moreover, safe motherhood programmes still need to pay particular attention to disadvantaged and vulnerable subgroups of women.

Original languageEnglish
Article number0228215
Pages (from-to)e0228215
Number of pages17
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2020



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