Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
On-line version ISSN 1680-5348
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
PAIM, Jairnilson Silva; COSTA, Maria da Conceição Nascimento; MASCARENHAS, Joane Carla S. and SILVA, Lígia Maria Vieira da. The distribution of violence: mortality due to external causes in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil . Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 1999, vol.6, n.5, pp.321-332. ISSN 1680-5348. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49891999001000004.
The aim of this paper was to describe the geographic distribution of mortality resulting from external causes during 1991 within the city of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Mortality indicators were calculated in terms of deaths from external causes and in terms of specific types of violence. Of the deaths in that year, 15% were due to external causes, corresponding to a mortality rate of 78/100 000 inhabitants. The homicide death rate was 32.2/100 000 inhabitants, and the traffic-related death rate was 21.8/100 000 inhabitants. The elderly, young adults, and teenagers were at higher risk of death from violent causes. Among the elderly, 38% of the deaths were from car accidents and 28% from falls. Among teenagers, homicides were the main cause of death, especially in males between 15 and 29 years of age. Our results show that the geographic distribution of violent deaths in Salvador is uneven. Such deaths occur mainly in poorer neighborhoods, which have higher violent death rates than average for the city of Salvador. There is a need for prevention and control measures, including public policies and public health activities, focusing on the areas that have the greatest risk of death from external causes.