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Rev Assoc Med Bras (1992). 2009 Jan-Feb;55(1):64-9.

[Deaths due to infectious diseases in women: occurrences in pregnancy and puerperium].

[Article in Portuguese]

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USP, São Paulo, SP, Brasil.



To describe deaths due to infectious diseases as an underlying or multiple cause, identifying cases of pre-existent infectious diseases or ones developed during pregnancy; deaths due to an indirect obstetric cause and deaths due to Aids or other infectious diseases during pregnancy or post-partum, however difficult to classify.


RAMOS methodology was adopted (by investigation in the household and medical records of the deceased, a new death certificate was filled out with the real causes concerning deaths of women from 10 to 49 years of age, residents in Brazilian capital cities,during the first semester of 2002.


A total of 7,332 female cases was analyzed, according to underlying and multiple causes of death, of which 917 were due to infectious diseases (mainly Aids and tuberculosis). In 37 cases, the deceased was pregnant or in an 'extended' puerperium (including) post-partum from 43 days up to one year). Of these, 10 were not indirect obstetric deaths, but the underlying cause was an infectious disease and 14 were classified as indirect obstetric deaths. Regarding multiple causes, 791 cases (neither maternal nor infectious disease as underlying cause) generated 1,016 mentions of infectious diseases (1.28 mentions/death).


As the frequency of maternal deaths is low, investigations on the near miss (severe cases due to complications of pregnancy and puerperium who survived) are recommended, because they occur in larger numbers and are a relevant contribution to studies on maternal mortality.

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