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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


FRANCO, Laercio J. et al. Diabetes as underlying or associated cause of death in the State of S. Paulo, 1992. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1998, vol.32, n.3, pp.237-245. ISSN 1518-8787.

INTRODUCTION: Analysis of mortality data are usually performed with reference to the underlying cause of death. The importance of diabetes as a cause of death is always underestimated, because diabetics generally die from chronic complications of the disease, these being considered as the underlying cause of the death. To attenuate this problem, mortality data should be analized on the basis of all the causes listed on the death certificate. Frequency of references to diabetes on death certificates and the principal associated causes were evaluated as a contribution to the solution of this problem. METHODOLOGY: Specific death rates and proportional mortality by diabetes, as underlying or associated cause, were calculated on the basis of information derived from death certificates by the ACME program (Automated Classification of Medical Entities), for the State of S. Paulo, in 1992. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Of a total of 202,141 deaths, diabetes was mentioned in 13,786 (6.8%) and as being the underlying cause in 5,305(2.6%). The proportion was higher for women than men (10.1 vs. 4.6% as mentioned, and 6.1 vs 2.9% as underlying cause). Among deaths with a mention of diabetes on the certificate, the main underlying causes were: diabetes (38.5%), cardiovascular (37.2%) and respiratory (8.5%) diseases, and neoplasias (4.8%). When diabetes was the underlying cause, the main associated causes were: cardiovascular (42.2%), respiratory (10.7%) and genitourinary (10.1%) diseases. When diabetes was an associated cause, the main underlying causes were: cardiovascular (60.5%) and respiratory (13.8%) diseases, and neoplasias (7.9%). In spite of the limitation of the data from death certificates, it is possible to observe the importance of diabetes as cause of death, reflecting its magnitude as a health problem. Also, the analysis by multiple causes of deaths gives an idea of the morbidity profile associated with diabetes at the time of death, showing the importance of the group of cardiovascular diseases.

Keywords : Diabetes mellitus [mortality]; Causes of death.

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