Findings are presented from a study conducted to assess the perinatal mortality rate and explore the association between alleged maternal and pregnancy-related risk factors and perinatal death in Cape Verde. Risk factors for perinatal death were assessed among 104 bereaved mothers and 292 mothers of surviving infants in an area-based case-control study during 1992-93 using data on risk factors obtained from medical records, postpartum interviews, and anthropometric measurements of mothers and infants. The following alleged maternal and infant risk factors were significantly and independently correlated with perinatal death: first pregnancy, previous hypertensive disease, previous perinatal death, pre-eclampsia, noncephalic fetal presentation, male infant gender, and maternal postpartum fever. The perinatal mortality rate was calculated to be 37-46/1000 total births. Providing antenatal and obstetric care with emphasis upon primiparous women, improving the detection and treatment of hypertensive disorders and genital infections, and improving intrapartum fetal observation and resuscitation routines will help reduce the level of mortality.