BRAZIL – Maternal mortality among Brazilian indigenous women—analysis from 2015 to 2021

International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, 15 May 2024

by Julia Lopes Garrafa, Amanda Dantas-Silva, Fernanda Garanhani Surita, José Paulo de Siqueira Guida, Diama Bhadra Vale, Marina de Campos Brandão, Alberto Trapani Junior, Roxana Knobel


Objective: This study examines maternal mortality among Brazilian indigenous women from 2015 to 2021, contrasting their causes of death with non-indigenous women.

Methods: An observational study utilizing Ministry of Health data analyzed maternal deaths’ characteristics, comparing indigenous and non-indigenous groups based on death certificates and live-birth records. Variables included age, region, location, time, and cause of death. Maternal mortality ratios (MMR) were calculated with linear regression and outliers identified with Grubbs test. Prevalence ratios compared MMR and causes of death.

Results: Between 2015 to 2021, Brazil recorded 13,023 maternal deaths. Among these, with 205 among indigenous women (1.60% of total). Indigenous women had higher MMR (115.14/100,000), than non- indigenous women (66.92/100,000), consistently across years. Haemorrhagic causes notably contributed to the indigenous women’s elevated MMR.

Conclusion: Indigenous Brazilian women face elevated maternal mortality rates across all causes, primarily due to haemorrhage, contrasting with national trends.