Temporal trends and spatial distribution of unsafe abortion in Brazil, 1996-2012

Martins-Melo, Francisco Rogerlândio, Lima, Mauricélia da Silveira, Alencar, Carlos Henrique, Ramos, Alberto Novaes Jr, Costa Carvalho, Francisco Herlânio, Tavares Machado, Márcia Maria, and Heukelbach, Jorg (2014) Temporal trends and spatial distribution of unsafe abortion in Brazil, 1996-2012. Revista de Saúde Pública, 48 (3). pp. 508-520.

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Objective: To analyze temporal trends and distribution patterns of unsafe abortion in Brazil.

Methods: Ecological study based on records of hospital admissions of women due to abortion in Brazil between 1996 and 2012, obtained from the Hospital Information System of the Ministry of Health. We estimated the number of unsafe abortions stratified by place of residence, using indirect estimate techniques. The following indicators were calculated: ratio of unsafe abortions/100 live births and rate of unsafe abortion/1,000 women of childbearing age. We analyzed temporal trends through polynomial regression and spatial distribution using municipalities as the unit of analysis.

Results: In the study period, a total of 4,007,327 hospital admissions due to abortions were recorded in Brazil. We estimated a total of 16,905,911 unsafe abortions in the country, with an annual mean of 994,465 abortions (mean unsafe abortion rate: 17.0 abortions/1,000 women of childbearing age; ratio of unsafe abortions: 33.2/100 live births). Unsafe abortion presented a declining trend at national level (R2: 94.0%, p < 0.001), with unequal patterns between regions. There was a significant reduction of unsafe abortion in the Northeast (R2: 93.0%, p < 0.001), Southeast (R2: 92.0%, p < 0.001) and Central-West regions (R2: 64.0%, p < 0.001), whereas the North (R2: 39.0%, p = 0.030) presented an increase, and the South (R2: 22.0%, p = 0.340) remained stable. Spatial analysis identified the presence of clusters of municipalities with high values for unsafe abortion, located mainly in states of the North, Northeast and Southeast Regions.

Conclusions: Unsafe abortion remains a public health problem in Brazil, with marked regional differences, mainly concentrated in the socioeconomically disadvantaged regions of the country. Qualification of attention to women's health, especially to reproductive aspects and attention to pre- and post-abortion processes, are necessary and urgent strategies to be implemented in the country.

Item ID: 36123
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 0034-8910
Keywords: abortion, induced, statistics and numerical data, epidemiology, spatio-temporal analysis
Additional Information:

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Title (Portuguese): Tendência temporal e distribuição espacial do aborto inseguro no Brasil, 1996-2012

Date Deposited: 12 Nov 2014 11:32
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111707 Family Care @ 50%
11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111708 Health and Community Services @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920507 Womens Health @ 50%
92 HEALTH > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920413 Social Structure and Health @ 50%
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