Perinatal mortality in southern Brazil: A population-based study of 7392 births

F. C. Barros, C. G. Victora, J. P. Vaughan, H. J. Estanislau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Perinatal, fetal and early neonatal mortality rates were determined in a population of 7392 babies born in hospitals in Pelotas (total population, 260,000) during 1982. These babies represented over 99% of all births in the city in that year. The perinatal mortality rate for singletons was 31.9 per 1000 total births, the fetal mortality rate being 16.2 and the early neonatal mortality rate was 15.9 per 1000 total births. The most important variable influencing perinatal mortality was birth weight; low-birth-weight babies were 17 times more likely to die in the perinatal period than those weighing 2500 g or more. Perinatal mortality was also strongly influenced by socioeconomic status, which was measured by family income. Babies belonging to the poorest familes were 3 times more likely to die during the perinatal period than those in families with the highest incomes. Other variables significantly associated with perinatal mortality were gestational age, maternal age, maternal weight and height, reproductive history, attendance in antenatal clinics, parity, and birth interval. Information on most of these risk factors can easily be obtained by health workers at the beginning of pregnancy and should be taken into consideration when allocating women to the proper level of care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-104
Number of pages10
JournalBulletin of the World Health Organization
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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