Objectives To investigate how socioeconomic indicators and individual variables from woman, pregnancy and delivery, can interact to influence rates of adolescent pregnancy in South Brazil.
Methods Information from the Live Birth National Information System (SINASC), concerning 419,272 deliveries taking place in the State of Santa Catarina, South Brazil, from 2003 to 2007 were analised. The study combined ecological and cross-sectional methods of data collection and analsysis. Correlations between socioeconomic indicators and rates of adolescent pregnancy were obtained. Annual rates and crude and adjusted rates, using Cox Regression, were calculated for literacy, ethnicity, duration of pregnancy and frequency to antenatal care consultations.
Results Rates of adolescent pregnancy for the 293 states of Santa Catarina in the study period was 18.26% decreasing linearly from 2003 to 2007, as a result of a decreasing in rates among women from the higher socioeconomic strata. Rates showed to be inversely associated to socioeconomic and demographic indicators. Negative correlations were found for the Human Development Index, Educational Development Index, literacy, and income Rate. The categories with higher proportions of adolescent mothers were low level of literacy, lower frequency to antenatal care, lower gestational age and non-white ethnicity. For extremes in the period the Prevalence Ratios increased for low literacy, lower frequency to antenatal care, and for non-white women.
Conclusions Adolescent pregnancy in Brazil is an important Public Health problem with socioeconomic determinants, whose effects will impact mainly those women living in the less privileged groups .
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