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Revista Brasileira de Epidemiologia

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SOARES, Vânia Muniz Néquer. Inequalities in the reproductive health of women in the State of Paraná, Brazil. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [online]. 2007, vol.10, n.3, pp.293-309. ISSN 1415-790X.

Social inequalities affect specially women in the developing world, with effects on reproductive and sexual health indicators. This study aims to identify both social and women's reproductive health inequalities in the State of Paraná. An ecological study was conducted, in which municipal districts were put together in homogeneous areas, following not only general socio-economic indexes but also women's social participation based on multivariate analysis techniques. Social gender indicators were calculated from Censo/IBGE 2000 (Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics) and reproductive health (1998-2002 period) database, which were built from information from the SUS (Centralized Health System) database. The ratio between rates was calculated to measure social gender inequalities and gross average variation in order to measure inequalities in women's reproductive health were calculated among the municipal districts. The results show that there are meaningful differences in women's reproductive health among districts in socio-economic type classification as well as in women's social participation. Socio-economic groups 4 and 5 in general present less favorable indicators of women's reproductive health. These two groups involve 160 districts (40% of the state total) and a population of 1.4 million people. These districts are concentrated in 9 of the 22 health units. Gender social differences were noticed with disadvantages to women. The permanent identification of women's reproductive health inequalities in Paraná might be a tool to help in decision-making when working to reverse these inequalities.

Keywords : Health inequalities; Reproductive health; Gender; Ecological study; Social conditions.

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