Cad Saude Publica 2013 Jan;29(1):91-101
Departamento de Saúde Pública, Universidade Federal do Maranhão, São Luís, Brasil.
Secular trends in rates of low birth weight in Brazilian state capital cities were evaluated for the period 1996 to 2010 using joinpoint regression models. The rates were calculated using data from the Live Births Information System. Newborns weighing less than 500 g were excluded. Only data for capital cities was included since under-registration of births in these cities is lower and new trends can be detected earlier. There was a significant increase in the rate of low birth weight in the Brazilian capitals of the North Region, Northeast Region, South Region and Southeast Region up to 2003/2004, stabilizing thereafter. In the capitals of the Center-west Region the rate increased throughout the whole study period. The rate of low birth weight was higher in the capitals of the more developed regions. The rate of multiple births increased significantly in all Brazilian capitals, while the stillbirth rate decreased and showed a negative correlation with the rate of low birth weight. The increase in the rate of low birth weight may be partially explained by the increase in multiple births, an increase in the birth of infants weighing 500 to 999 g and by the reduction in the stillbirth rate.