Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
GOMEZ-ALCALA, Alejandro V. and RASCON-PACHECO, Ramón A.. Infant mortality from congenital malformations in Mexico: an issue of opportunity and access to treatment. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2008, vol.24, n.5, pp. 297-303. ISSN 1020-4989. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892008001100001.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the role that Mexico's National Health System (Sistema Nacional de Salud-SNS) has played in the task of reducing the number of deaths due to congenital malformations through a trends analysis of cause-specific infant mortality rates (IMRcs). METHODS: Time-series analysis of deaths of boys and girls under 1 year of age from 1980-2005, according to databases of national and annual mortality maintained by the Secretariat of Health of Mexico. Cause-specific mortality rates were calculated for the most frequently occurring, severe, congenital malformations in Mexico: neural tube defects, diaphragmatic hernias, exomphalos (omphalocele and gastroschisis), and heart and digestive tract defects, grouped according to severity, degree of technological sophistication required for treatment, and most frequent outcome. RESULTS: From 1980-2005, the infant mortality rate in Mexico decreased from 40.7 to 16.9 per 1 000 births (β = -0.86; P < 0.001); however, the mortality rate for congenital malformations rose from 2.2 to 3.5 per 1 000 births (β = 0.05; P < 0.001). Only infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis and anorectal atresia, anomalies with good prognoses and treatments available in minimally-equipped facilities, exhibited downward trends in their IMRcs (β = -0.01 to -0.09; P < 0.001); while malformations requiring immediate treatment in specialized facilities showed rising IMRcs (β = 0.03 to 0.05; P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: The development of Mexico's SNS from 1980-2005 has not translated into a reduction of mortality from congenital malformations; this deficiency was more pronounced for anomalies that require immediate treatment and sophisticated technology.
Keywords : Infant mortality; infant mortality rate; congenital abnormalities; Mexico.