Prevalence of very low birthweight, malformation, and low Apgar score among newborns in Brazil according to maternal urban or rural residence at birth

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Adverse birth outcomes are a major public health issue in rural areas, where several environmental risk factors, including pesticides, may endanger the health of women of reproductive age. We investigated the prevalence of selected birth outcomes among newborns from mothers living in urban and rural areas of a Brazilian municipality.


Information about all live births that occurred between 2004 and 2006 in the Municipality of Nova Friburgo, Brazil, was retrieved from the Live Birth Information System. Newborns were classified as rural or urban, according to the mother's residence address.


Newborns from rural areas had a higher prevalence of very low-birthweight, low Apgar score, and malformation. On Poisson regression with adjustment for several confounders, rural offspring were more likely to have the aforementioned outcomes.


Women in rural areas are at higher risk of giving birth to an infant with very low-birthweight, low 5-min Apgar score and malformations detectable at birth, regardless of socioeconomic and gestational conditions.

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