Spatio-temporal trends in infant mortality in Brazil

Marcia C. Castro, Harvard University
Celso Simoes, Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística (IBGE)

We investigate spatio-temporal trends in Brazilian infant mortality rates (IMRs) and spatial disparities utilizing the microregion as the unit of analysis. We estimate IMRs for 1980-2006 adjusted by a logistic model, and assess annual variations in IMR at multiple scales: national, regional, state, and microregion. At a finer scale, we calculate deviations of microregion IMR compared to the regional and national levels each year. Our results identify areas of major changes (gains or losses) and areas of stagnation. To facilitate the comparison, we consider three time periods. We calculate local Moran’s I for each period in order to identify clusters and dissimilarities by microregion. To assess if these spatial patterns persist over time, we calculate the spatial scan statistic. We offer possible explanations for the observed spatio-temporal patterns in IMR by relating the findings to data on social programs (cash-transfer), urbanization, and access to services.

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Presented in Session 208: Spatial clustering of health and mortality outcomes