Sociodemographic Factors Predicting Exclusive Breastfeeding in Ethiopia: Evidence from a Meta-analysis of Studies Conducted in the Past 10 Years

T.D. Habtewold*, A. Endalamaw, S.H. Mohammed, H. Mulugeta, G. Dessie, G.M. Kassa, Y. Asmare, M. Tadese, Y.M. Alemu, N.T. Sharew, A.K. Tura, B.S. Tegegne, S.M. Alemu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal(Systematic) Review article peer-review


Objectives To investigate the association between EBF and educational status, household income, marital status, media exposure, and parity in Ethiopia.Methods PubMed, EMBASE, Web of Science, SCOPUS, CINAHL and WHO Global health library databases were searched using key terms for all studies published in English between September 2009 and March 2019. The methodological quality of studies was examined using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale (NOS) for cross-sectional studies. To obtain the pooled odds ratio (OR), extracted data were fitted in a random-effects meta-analysis model. Statistical heterogeneity was quantified using Cochran's Q test, tau(2), and I-2 statistics. In addition, Jackknife sensitivity analysis, cumulative meta-analysis, and meta-regression analysis were conducted.Results Out of 553 studies retrieved, 31 studies fulfilled our inclusion criteria. Almost all included studies were conducted among mothers with newborn less than 23 months old. Maternal primary school education (OR 1.39; 95% CI 1.03-1.89; I-2 = 86.11%), medium household income (OR 1.27; 95% CI 1.05-1.55; I-2 = 60.9%) and being married (OR 1.39; 95% CI 1.05-1.83; I-2 = 76.96%) were found to be significantly associated with EBF. We also observed an inverse dose-response relationship of EBF with educational status and income. However, EBF was not significantly associated with parity, media exposure, and paternal educational status.Conclusions In this meta-analysis, we showed the relevant effect of maternal education, income, and marital status on EBF. Therefore, multifaceted, effective, and evidence-based efforts are needed to increase the national level of exclusive breastfeeding in Ethiopia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-94
Number of pages23
JournalMaternal and Child Health Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • breast milk
  • breastfeeding
  • determinants
  • ethiopia
  • exclusive breastfeeding
  • impact
  • income countries
  • initiation
  • interventions
  • maternity leave
  • meta-analysis
  • mortality
  • mothers
  • patterns
  • risk
  • RISK
  • Meta-analysis
  • Exclusive breastfeeding
  • Breastfeeding
  • Ethiopia
  • Breast milk

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