[Health care and mortality of very-low-birth-weight neonates]

Rev Saude Publica. 2007 Dec;41(6):1003-12. doi: 10.1590/s0034-89102007000600016.
[Article in Portuguese]


Objective: To assess inpatient mortality rate of very-low-birth-weight neonates, their clinical progression and factors associated with mortality.

Methods: Longitudinal study including 360 neonates weighing 500-1500 g who were born in Londrina, Southern Brazil, from January 1, 2002 to June 30, 2004. Data were collected through interviews with the mothers and from medical records and follow-up of neonates during hospitalization. Chi-square test was used to determine the association between variables. Statistically significant variables were selected to the logistic regression model and the level of significance adopted was 5%.

Results: Mortality rate was 32.5%. In bivariate analysis, the following variables were associated with death: no prenatal use of corticosteroids; no hypertension/preeclampsia; labor; vaginal delivery; non-cephalic presentation; Apgar scores <or= 3 at the first and fifth minutes; Clinical Risk Index for Babies score > 5; male sex; weight < or=750 g; gestational age < 28 weeks; resuscitation procedures in the delivery room; respiratory distress syndrome; pneumothorax; intracranial hemorrhage; and mechanical ventilation. In the logistic regression, the following variables were still considered risk factors: low income; no prenatal use of corticosteroids; no use of continuous positive airway pressure.

Conclusions: Despite technology advances, very-low-birth-weight neonates mortality is high in Brazil compared with developed countries. Prenatal use of corticosteroids should be encouraged to reduce morbidity and mortality of very-low-birth-weight neonates.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / administration & dosage
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Developed Countries
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant Mortality*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight*
  • Male
  • Maternal-Child Health Centers*
  • Postnatal Care
  • Prenatal Care


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones