Cadernos de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
MALTA, Deborah Carvalho; ALMEIDA, Maria Cristina de Mattos; DIAS, Maria Angélica de Salles and MERHY, Emerson Elias. Analysis of infant mortality in coverage areas of health centers in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil (1994-1996). Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2001, vol.17, n.5, pp. 1189-1198. ISSN 0102-311X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2001000500019.
Geographic analysis of health conditions highlights regional and intra-urban inequalities. This study aims to identify intra-urban discrepancies in the city of Belo Horizonte, studying the infant mortality coefficients (IMC) in the various areas of the metropolitan area and evaluating their evolution from 1994 to 1996. The study uses data from 1994 to 1996 regarding birth and death records (from the SINASC and SIM registries). It also uses "thematic maps" related to geographic coverage areas of municipal health centers to demonstrate differences in infant mortality coefficients. The empirical Bayesian method was applied to correct possible random fluctuation in IMC due to small and unstable numbers. A 24.4% reduction in the overall coefficient was observed in the city from 1994 to 1996. Decreases also occurred in the health center coverage areas. In 1994, eight areas presented an IMC above 50/1,000, while in 1996 no area reached that coefficient. In 1994, 29 areas presented an IMC from 35 to 50/1,000, as compared to only four areas in 1996. In 1996 there were more areas with IMC below 35/1,000 as compared to 1994. In 1996, more homogeneity was observed in IMC distribution and hence a reduction in intra-urban inequalities.
Keywords : Spatial Analysis; Mortality Rate; Infant Mortality.