Contextual determinants of neonatal mortality using two analysis methods, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

Roselaine Ruviaro Zanini Anaelena Bragança de Moraes Elsa Regina Justo Giugliani João Riboldi About the authors

OBJECTIVE: To analyze neonatal mortality determinants using multilevel logistic regression and classic hierarchical models. METHODS: Cohort study including 138,407 live births with birth certificates and 1,134 neonatal deaths recorded in 2003, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Southern Brazil. The Information System on Live Births and mortality records were linked for gathering information on individual-level exposures. Sociodemographic data and information on the pregnancy, childbirth care and characteristics of the children at birth were collected. The associated factors were estimated and compared by traditional and multilevel logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: The neonatal mortality rate was 8.19 deaths per 1,000 live births. Low birth weight, 1- and 5-minute Apgar score below eight, congenital malformation, pre-term birth and previous fetal loss were associated with neonatal death in the traditional model. Elective cesarean section had a protective effect. Previous fetal loss did not remain significant in the multilevel model, but the inclusion of a contextual variable (poverty rate) showed that 15% of neonatal mortality variation can be explained by varying poverty rates in the microregions. CONCLUSIONS: The use of multilevel models showed a small effect of contextual determinants on the neonatal mortality rate. There was found a positive association with the poverty rate in the general model, and the proportion of households with water supply among preterm newborns.

Neonatal Mortality (Public Health); Mortality Registries; Risk Factors; Socioeconomic Factors; Cohort Studies

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