Infant mortality among indigenous and non-indigenous people in the Brazilian microregions

ABSTRACT Objective: To compare infant mortality rates of indigenous and non-indigenous children according to microregions in Brazil. Method: The study was based on data from the 2010 Population Census and from the Mortality Information System. Rates and proportions were calculated using data from 558 microregions. Results: Indigenous children presented a higher risk of dying before completing one year of age (60% higher compared to non-indigenous), and rates were higher in microregions with < 1% of indigenous population. Seven out of 10 deaths were in children over one month of age and were mostly caused by infectious diseases. Conclusion: In general, indigenous children die mostly due to preventable causes. The study shows that there are important differences in the levels of infant mortality between indigenous and non-indigenous children in Brazil, even in geographical areas with increased presence of indigenous population.