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Rev Saude Publica. 2013 Dec;47(6):1048-58.

[Correcting vital information: estimating infant mortality, Brazil, 2000-2009].

[Article in Portuguese]



To propose a simplified method of correcting vital information and estimating the coefficient of infant mortality in Brazil.


Vital data in the information systems on mortality and live births were corrected using correction factors, estimated based on events not reported to the Brazilian Ministry of Health and obtained by active search. This simplified method for correcting vital information for the period 2000-2009 for Brazil and its federal units establishes the level of adequacy of information on deaths and live births by calculating the overall coefficient of mortality standardized by age and the ratio between reported and expected live births, respectively, in each Brazilian municipality. By applying correction factors to the number of deaths and live births reported in each county, the vital statistics were corrected, making it possible to estimate the coefficient of infant mortality.


The highest correction factors were related to infant deaths, reaching values higher than 7 for municipalities with very precarious mortality information. For deaths and live births, the correction factors exhibit a decreasing gradient as indicators of adequacy of the vital information improve. For the year 2008, the vital information corrected by the simplified method per state were similar to those obtained in the research of active search. Both the birth rate and the infant mortality rate decreased in the period in all Brazilian regions. In the Northeast, the annual rate of decline was 6.0%, the highest in Brazil (4.7%).


The active search of deaths and births allowed correction factors to be calculated by level of adequacy of mortality information and live births. The simplified method proposed here allowed vital information to be corrected per state for the period 2000-2009 and the progress of the coefficient of infant mortality in Brazil, its regions and states to be assessed.

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