Author(s): Getachew Bayou, Yifru Berhan
Background Perinatal mortality is reported to be five times higher in developing than in developed nations. Little is known about the commonly associated risk factors for perinatal mortality in Southern Nations National Regional State of Ethiopia. Methods A case control study for perinatal mortality was conducted in University hospital between 2008 and 2010. Cases were stillbirths and early neonatal deaths. Controls were those live newborns till discharged from the hospital. Subgroup binary logistic regression analyses were done to identify associated risk factors for perinatal mortality, stillbirths and early neonatal deaths. Results A total of 1356 newborns (452 cases and 904 controls) were included in this analysis. The adjusted perinatal mortality rate was 85/1000 total delivery. Stillbirths accounted for 87% of total perinatal mortality. The proportion of hospital perinatal deaths was 26%. Obstructed labor was responsible for more than one third of perinatal deaths. Adjusted odds ratios revealed that obstructed labor, malpresentation, preterm birth, antepartum hemmorrhage and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy were independent predictors for high perinatal mortality. In the subgroup analysis, among others, obstructed labor and antepartum hemorrhage found to have independent association with both stillbirths and early neonatal deaths. Conclusion The perinatal mortality rate was more than two fold higher than the estimated national perinatal mortality;and obstructed labor, malpresentation, preterm birth, antepartum hemmorrhage and hypertensive disorders of pregnancy were independent predictors. The reason for the poor progress of labor and developing obstructed labor is an area of further investigation.