A medical geography of perinatal mortality in Metropolitan Cape Town.S Afr Med J. 1986 Sep 27; 70(7):399-403.SA
An infant's weight at birth as well as its socio-economic environment are recognized as constituting two of the major risk factors associated with perinatal mortality. Spatial analyses of birth weight, socio-economic status and perinatal mortality in Metropolitan Cape Town for the year 1982 are presented in an attempt to assess the relationship between these variables at the suburb (or community) level. Variations in perinatal mortality for each suburb were found to be highly correlated with variations in the distribution of low birth weights. Overall, it would appear that the geography of the interrelationship between low birth weight and perinatal mortality tends, in part, to mirror long-standing gradients in socio-economic status--particularly for those coloured communities which show high perinatal death rates. To what extent these variations are associated with available antenatal and infant health care services can only be postulated. Points for possible community intervention are suggested.