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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348Print version ISSN 1020-4989


PAES, Neir Antunes. Mortality due to infectious and parasitic diseases in the elderly in Brazil. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2004, vol.15, n.4, pp.233-241. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the mortality due to infectious and parasitic diseases in persons over 65 years of age in all of Brazil and in individual states and to study the association between that mortality due to these causes and specific socioeconomic variables over the period from 1980 to 1995. METHODS: Data were obtained from Brazil's national Mortality Information System. Standardized mortality rates were calculated for tuberculosis, Chagas' disease, and sepsis. The relative contribution of these causes of death to overall mortality was also calculated. The study also analyzed the relationship between mortality rates and gender and the following socioeconomic variables: per capita gross domestic product; number of hospital beds per inhabitant; proportion of the total population living in urban areas; number of benefits provided per capita by the social welfare system; number of deaths reported for every 100 hospitalizations; and life expectancy at birth. A normal multiple linear regression model was used for this analysis. RESULTS: There were no significant changes in the proportion of deaths due to infectious and parasitic diseases in the elderly population during the period studied, regardless of sex. However, for both men and women there was a sizeable decrease in the impact of tuberculosis and Chagas' disease, while that of sepsis appeared to increase. According to the results of the ecological analysis, socioeconomic indicators had little power to explain the differences in mortality patterns seen in the different states of the country. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that policies to prevent and control infectious and parasitic diseases among the elderly in Brazil have stagnated. Given this situation and the progressive increase in the elderly population, mortality due to infectious and parasitic diseases is not likely to decrease in this age group, at least in the near future.

Keywords : Análise estatística; doença de Chagas; idoso; saúde do idoso; septicemia; tuberculose pulmonar.

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