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Revista médica de Chile

versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887


VALENZUELA, María Teresa; SAN-MARTIN P., Pamela  y  CAVADA, Gabriel. Is abortion a serious public health problem in Chile in the field of maternal-perinatal health?. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2017, vol.145, n.8, pp.1013-1020. ISSN 0034-9887.


The World Health Organization, by 2014, estimates that approximately 22 million unsafe abortions take place every year in the world, almost all of them in developing countries. The Millennium Goals, as part of the fifth compendium, focused on maternal health by proposing that member states should reduce maternal mortality to 75% by 2015.


To determine, using maternal health indicators, if abortion in Chile is a priority health problem.

Material and Methods:

Data about maternal mortality and its causes between 1982 and 2014, was obtained from the databases available at the Chilean Ministry of Health. Trend analyzes were carried out using linear autoregressive models.


Between 1982 and 2012, maternal mortality rates decreased from 51.8 to 18.3 per 100,000 live births. Complications of pregnancy, childbirth and puerperium were the first three causes and the last one is abortion. The proportion of abortions due to unspecified causes, including induced abortion, decreased from 36.6% to 26.1% between 2001 and 2012.


Abortion is not a public health problem in Chile. To continue reducing maternal mortality, programs for the early detection of risks such as diabetes, obesity and hypertension should be implemented.

Palabras clave : Abortion; Induced; Chile; Health Priorities; Maternal Mortality; Public Health.

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