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Cien Saude Colet. 2013 Aug;18(8):2443-52.

[The spatial inequality of low birth weight in Brazil].

[Article in Portuguese]

Author information

  • 1Programa de Pós-Graduação em Saúde Pública, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, RN, 59.056-000, Brazil. marinaclarissa@hotmail.com


Low birth weight (LBW) is a risk factor for neonatal and infant morbidity and mortality. In Brazil the highest percentages of low birth weight occur in regions of higher socio-economic status. The scope of this article is to ascertain the spatial distribution of low birth weight rates and the correlation with social and service indicators. The scale is ecological taking all the Brazilian states as units of analysis. The spatial analysis technique is the methodology used together with data from SINASC, IPEA and IBGE for 2009. Higher rates of low birth weight are found in the south/southeastern states (Global Moran: 0.267, p = 0.02). Clusters of the high-high type in the Southeast and of the low-low variety in states in the Amazon region are detected. The spatial inequality of low birth weight reflects the socio-economic conditions of the states. More developed regions have higher rates of low birth weight, therefore, the presence of the service and its use decrease infant mortality and increase LBW.

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