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Cadernos de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1678-4464Print version ISSN 0102-311X


CHIESA, Anna M.; WESTPHAL, Marcia F.  and  AKERMAN, Marco. Acute respiratory diseases: a study on health inequalities. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2008, vol.24, n.1, pp.55-69. ISSN 1678-4464.

This article discusses health inequalities based on acute childhood respiratory diseases in the coverage area of a health center in the city of São Paulo, Brazil, to help plan local health promotion activities. The work was based on ecological studies using the geographic area as the unit of analysis, allowing a comparison of health and socioeconomic indicators based on census data. Indicators were constructed for "social inclusion" and "housing quality", generating the "potential exposure index", which reflects the respiratory disease risk conditions. Statistical treatment included grouping according to the cluster technique. Four homogenous social groups were identified in terms of risk conditions for acute respiratory diseases. Groups III and IV, with the worst socioeconomic conditions, showed important differences in comparison to groups I and II. The differences in mortality from pneumonia suggest important health inequalities. The results allow the geographic localization of the highest and lowest concentration of needs in terms of living conditions and the comparison of census tracts for recognizing distinct needs, thus supporting proposals for inter-sector collaboration.

Keywords : Respiratory Tract Diseases; Child Welfare; Health Inequalities.

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