Over the past two decades, Brazil has seen improvements in women's nutritional status, education, smoking habits, and antenatal care. Neonatal mortality rates (deaths of liveborn infants up to 1 month of age), however, have changed little. In this issue of The Lancet , Fernando Barros and colleagues present fascinating data from three birth-cohorts which suggest that falling mortality in term infants (37 weeks' gestation or more) has been offset by a rise in preterm births and deaths.
Costello, A.; Osrin, D. Epidemiological transition, medicalisation of childbirth, and neonatal mortality: three Brazilian birth-cohorts. Lancet (2005) 365 (9462) 825-826. [DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(05)71017-5]