Tackling health inequities in Chile: maternal, newborn, infant, and child mortality between 1990 and 2004

Am J Public Health. 2009 Jul;99(7):1220-6. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2008.143578. Epub 2009 May 14.


Objectives: We analyzed trends in maternal, newborn, and child mortality in Chile between 1990 and 2004, after the introduction of national interventions and reforms, and examined associations between trends and interventions.

Methods: Data were provided by the Chilean Ministry of Health on all pregnancies between 1990 and 2004 (approximately 4,000,000). We calculated yearly maternal mortality ratios, stillbirth rates, and mortality rates for neonates, infants (aged > 28 days and < 1 year), and children aged 1 to 4 years. We also calculated these statistics by 5-year intervals for Chile's poorest to richest district quintiles.

Results: During the study period, the maternal mortality ratio decreased from 42.1 to 18.5 per 100,000 live births. The mortality rate for neonates decreased from 9.0 to 5.7 per 1000 births, for infants from 7.8 to 3.1 per 1000 births, and for young children from 3.1 to 1.7 per 1000 live births. The stillbirth rate declined from 6.0 to 5.0 per 1000 births. Disparities in these mortality statistics between the poorest and richest district quintiles also decreased, with the largest mortality reductions in the poorest quintile.

Conclusions: During a period of socioeconomic development and health sector reforms, Chile experienced significant mortality and inequity reductions.

MeSH terms

  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Child Mortality / trends*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chile / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality / trends*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Maternal Mortality / trends*
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors