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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123


SOUZA, Luciene Guimarães de; SANTOS, Ricardo Ventura  and  COIMBRA JR., Carlos Everaldo Alvares. Age structure, natality and mortality of the Xavante indigenous people of Mato Grosso State, Brazilian Amazon. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2010, vol.15, suppl.1, pp.1465-1473. ISSN 1678-4561.

The overall demographic and health characteristics of indigenous peoples in Brazil are well-known. They are influenced by factors such as territorial restriction, introduction of diseases, changes in social and economic patterns, reduced access to health services, education, all related to patterns of interaction with the Brazilian society. In this paper we analyze demographic and health data on the Xavante Indigenous People, including comparisons with national data. The data on the Xavante, despite limitations related to methodological issues, point to very high mortality levels, way beyond national averages. Mortality is particularly high in children below age five. Xavante infant mortality is among the highest reported in indigenous peoples in Brazil. The results suggest that indigenous peoples are undergoing a complex process of health transition. Although infectious diseases persist as leading causes of mortality, deaths associated with chronic non-transmissible diseases and external causes (including violence) are becoming more common among the Xavante. The authors emphasize that it is fundamental that more attention should be paid to the improvement of the health and demographic information system on indigenous peoples in Brazil.

Keywords : Demography; Epidemiology; Health indicators; South American indigenous people.

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