Rural zone as protection for pregnancy during adolescence: results from a cohort

Thamara Vieira Rolim, Olivan Silva Queiroz, Ivana Cristina de Holanda Cunha Barreto


Introduction: Pregnancy during adolescence goes against female emancipation, issue that has been worked on in society since the 1960s; when a adolescent becomes a mother, society considers this as a great loss in the fruition of feminine conquests. Studies have been trying to present associations between social determinants (macro, intermediate and individual) and the phenomenon of pregnancy during adolescence.

Objective: This study had as objective to identify associations between pregnancy during adolescence and the zone of residence factor (rural/urban) in a middle-sized municipality in the northeast of Brazil.

Methodology or experience description: This was a prospective study, conducted in 2010 with 903 adolescents, belonging to an original sample of 1,638 girls aged 5 to 9 years, from a transversal study performed in 2000, in the city of Sobral, Ceará. We sought to identify how many of these girls had gotten pregnant in this 10-year interval. The original study included children that lived within the city limits and those that lived in the urbanized villages of the districts. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were performed on “zone of residence” data in 2000, with the dichotomous variable “pregnancy during adolescence”, in the 2010 study.

Results: From the 903 girls encountered, 159 (19.5%) had gotten pregnant at least once, with mean age of 17.9 years. One hundred and fifty girls (16.6%) lived in the rural zone of the municipality, and fifteen of them (1.7%) lived in isolated areas. Of those living in the rural zone, twenty (13.3%) have gotten pregnant, while in the urban zone this value was 20.7% (156 cases). After multivariate analysis, we found that living in the urban zone of the municipality increased the probability of pregnancy during adolescence in 90% (OR= 1.9; CI95%: 1.1-3.4).

Conclusions or Hypothesis: Pregnancy before 20 years of age, in the city of Sobral, was associated to determinant factors, amongst them being zone of residence, with the rural area being considered as a factor of protection for this phenomenon of global social importance.



Rural Health; Pregnancy in Adolescence; Rural Population

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