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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

Print version ISSN 1413-8123

Abstract

NORONHA, Gisele Almeida de et al. The evolution of maternal and child healthcare and birth weight in the State of Pernambuco in 1997 and 2006. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2012, vol.17, n.10, pp. 2749-2756. ISSN 1413-8123.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232012001000023.

The scope of this paper was to assess the evolution and influence of maternal and child care on birth weight variation in the state of Pernambuco. The study used data from two cross-sectional population-based household surveys conducted with under-five children in the state of Pernambuco in 1997 (n = 1906) and 2006 (n = 1555). The sample was calculated to ensure the representativeness of two geo-economic strata: urban and rural areas. The variables studied were prenatal, delivery care and birth weight. The x2 test was used to compare the categorical variables and mean difference in birth weight was calculated between the years studied with the respective 95% confidence interval. A marked improvement was seen in prenatal care and an increase in the frequency of caesarean section. In the rural area there was a significant 112g decrease in mean birth weight. In 2006, access to at least one prenatal care appointment occurred irrespective of maternal schooling, however, in 1997 and 2006 access to adequate prenatal care was higher among mothers with better schooling. In spite of the improvement in prenatal and delivery care, poor access, excess of medical interventions and the increase in newborn survival may be influencing the variations in mean birth weight in the State of Pernambuco.

Keywords : Birth weight; Low birth weight infant; Prenatal care; Perinatal care.

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