When young mothers die, their children up to the age of ten have a very high risk of dying too. This has been found from research in an area of Bangladesh where around 150,000 births were monitored and followed up between 1982 and 2005. Three out of four children died before reaching 10 years of age among those whose mothers had died, compared with one in ten dying by age ten with a mother still living. Professor Carine Ronsmans discusses her study – published in The Lancet medical journal – which also found that losing a father made no difference to the child’s chances of survival. Carine Ronsmans talks with Peter Goodwin.