Revista de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1518-8787
KILSZTAJN, Samuel; ROSSBACH, Anacláudia; CARMO, Manuela Santos Nunes do and SUGAHARA, Gustavo Toshiaki Lopes. Prenatal care, low birth weight and prematurity in Brazil, 2000. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2003, vol.37, n.3, pp. 303-310. ISSN 1518-8787. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102003000300007.
OBJECTIVE: The historical evolution of infant mortality rate and neonatal mortality according to birth weight and term of delivery in the state of São Paulo are presented to assess the role of the number of prenatal visits and others factors for determining mortality. METHODS: Based on data available from the Seade Institute of Vital Statistics, four variables (maternal age, marital status, education, and childbirth order) were analyzed and divided into two categories according to the relative risk of low birth weight and/or preterm prevalence. Sixteen specific groups were created from crossing the four variables into two categories. Low birth weight and/or preterm prevalence per number of prenatal visits and the relative risk were calculated for all sixteen groups. RESULTS: For all sixteen groups, the higher the number of prenatal visits the lower the prevalence of low birth weight and/or prematurity. Additionally, there was an overall reduction of the difference of low birth weight and/or preterm prevalence among the 16 groups from 14% to 4% with an increase from 0-3 to 7 visits or more. CONCLUSIONS: Due to the current infant mortality composition in the state of Sao Paulo, increasing the number of prenatal visits and accessibility of women at risk would probably lead to a reduction in intrauterine growth retardation, prematurity, low birth weight and deaths associated to conditions originated in the perinatal period.
Keywords : Infant, low birth weight; Infant, premature; Birth weight; Prenatal care; Infant, newborn, diseases; Neonatal mortality (public health); Mortality rate; Socioeconomic factors; Infant mortality; Prevalence; Prenatal care.