Maternal mortality in Brazil from 2001 to 2012: time trends and regional differences

<p></p><p>ABSTRACT: Objective: To assess time trends in maternal mortality in Brazil and its five geographical regions from 2001 to 2012, as well as to describe its main causes. Methods: This is a time series analysis, from data obtained in the Mortality Information System (SIM) and in the Live Births Information System (SINASC). Maternal mortality ratio (MMR) and causes of maternal death were described according to the categories of the Tenth Revision of the International Classification of Diseases, in the years 2001, 2006, and 2011. To estimate time trends, linear regression was used. Results: The highest MMR in Brazil was observed in 2009 (77.31 per 100,000 live births). A significant decreasing trend was observed in the Northeast and South regions and a significant increasing trend was found in the Midwest. There was an increase in deaths from other obstetric conditions and a decrease in deaths from edema, proteinuria and hypertensive disorders. Conclusion: Although there was a decreasing trend in the MMR in the Northeast and South regions, the high ratio observed in Brazil reveals the need to improve health care in prenatal, childbirth, and puerperium periods.</p><p></p>