The use of maternal and child health services in three population-based cohorts in Southern Brazil, 1982-2004

Juraci A. Cesar, Alicia Matijasevich, Iná S. Santos, Aluísio J D Barros, Juvenal S. Dias-da-Costa, Fernando C. Barros, Cesar G. Victora

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


This study aimed to describe indicators of health care assistance during antenatal care, delivery and in the first year of life in Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. In 1982, 1993, and 2004, all hospital newborns from the urban area of Pelotas were enrolled in a cohort study. In this period, the number of pregnant women that did not attend antenatal care fell from 4.9% to 1.9%; the mean number of appointments increased from 6.7 to 8.1; and the number of women who began antenatal care in the third trimester of pregnancy decreased from 14.8% to 7%; caesarean sections increased from 27.7% to 45.2% and the proportion of deliveries assisted by physicians increased from 61.2% to 89.2%. Improvements in immunization rates during the first year of life mainly occurred between 1982 and 1993, while the number of preventive medical appointments improved among those born in 2004. This increase in coverage was greater for low-income mothers and children, which may reflect the implementation of universal coverage in Brazil; however, coverage levels in 1982 were already high for wealthy mothers and children, reducing the scope for further gains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCadernos de saúde pública / Ministério da Saúde, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública.
Issue numberSUPPL.3
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Cohort studies
  • Health services
  • Maternal and child health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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