Journal of Biosocial Science

Research Article

A Study of infant mortality and causes of death in a rural north-east Brazilian community

Patricia Baileya1, Amy Ong Tsuia2, Barbara Janowitza1, Rosalie Dominika1 and Lorena Araujoa3

a1 Family Health International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina

a2 Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

a3 Universidade Federal do Ceará, Brazil


In 1984 a prospective study of 1645 women and 1677 births in a rural community in north-eastern Brazil showed the infant mortality rate to be 65 per 1000 live births. Neonatal, post-neonatal and infant mortality are analysed to determine the most important risk factors for each period. Post-neonatal survival depends largely on factors relating to child care, while neonatal deaths are more likely to be associated with biological factors. The principal cause of death, diarrhoeal disease, was responsible for a third of the deaths.

(Received October 11 1989)