Revista de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1518-8787
BETTIOL, Heloisa et al. Perinatal health: methodology and some characteristics of the population studied. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1998, vol.32, n.1, pp. 18-28. ISSN 1518-8787. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89101998000100003.
OBJECTIVE: To describe the methodological procedures and some sociodemographic and medical care characteristics of the population studied in a research project on perinatal health developed in the Ribeirão Preto county, SP, in 1994, in order to make historical comparisons with the indicators of mother-child health of a similar study conducted 15 years before in the same municipality. MATERIAL AND METHOD: All the hospital births that occurred in Ribeirão Preto from June 1978 to May 1979 were studied by interviewing the mothers and obtaining data about maternal and paternal habits, social situation of the family, medical care during pregnancy and delivery, duration of pregnancy, and anthropometric and mortality data about the newborn children. A new study was conducted in 1994 using the same methodology to collect data about a sample of 1/3 of the births that had occurred in the municipality in that year (all the hospital births observed during a period of 4 months), and also about the mortality of this group up to one year after the termination of birth data collection. The interviews were held after delivery and infant weight and length were measured immediately after birth. Infant mortality was evaluated by surveying the data referring to all deaths of infants born during the year of the study and up to 1 year after its termination. The data were obtained from the Municipal Health Secretariat to which copies of all death certificates emitted in the registry offices of the county are sent obligatorily. RESULTS: An investigation was made into 3,663 births, 3,579 of which were singletons; of these, 2,846 were from the municipality. Comparison with the data obtained in the previous study showed an increase in the frequency of some indicators such as adolescent mothers, prematurity, low birth weight and cesarian section; on the other hand, there was a 50% decrease in the mortality rate and its components.
Keywords : Perinatal care; Health status indicators.