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.
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