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Avoidable causes of infant deaths due to interventions of the Brazilian Unified Health System: a comparison of two birth cohorts

Avoidable infant mortality was compared in the cohorts of live births in 2000/20001 and 2007/2008 in Londrina in the state of Paraná. Data on live births and infant deaths were matched in a single database and the underlying causes of death were classified according to the Brazilian List of Avoidable Causes of Mortality of the Brazilian Unified Health System. The proportional variations of death rates were calculated and the technique of correspondence analysis was used. The proportions of avoidable deaths were 71.6% in 2000/2001 and 65.5% in 2007/2008. Avoidable mortality rate due to "care of the woman during pregnancy" was the most frequent in the two biennials with an increase of 16.7%. There was a decline in avoidable mortality rates due to other causes. In 2000/2001, correspondence analysis revealed a profile of deaths characterized mainly by causes avoidable by "care of the woman during labor" and "health promotion/care" while, in 2007/2008, by causes avoidable by "care of the woman during pregnancy," particularly among low birth weight newborns and "not clearly avoidable," among those with adequate weight. Despite a reduction in some avoidable causes of deaths, improvements in prenatal care are required.

Infant mortality; Causes of death; Health service evaluation

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