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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

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


ABREU, Daisy Maria Xavier de; CESAR, Cibele Comini  and  FRANCA, Elisabeth Barboza. The relationship between deaths that are avoidable with adequate health care and the implementation of the Unified Health System in Brazil. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2007, vol.21, n.5, pp.282-291. ISSN 1680-5348.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze the relationship between the occurrence of deaths that are avoidable with adequate health care and the reorganization of the Brazilian health care system between 1983 and 2002. METHOD: This ecological study analyzed avoidable mortality in 117 municipalities of Brazil. The causes of death avoidable with adequate health care were grouped into three: (1) ones avoidable through early diagnosis and treatment, (2) ones avoidable with improvements in the quality of treatment and medical care, and (3) ischemic heart disease. To evaluate the association between avoidable mortality and reorganization of the health care system, the period under study was divided into two subperiods: from 1983 through 1992 and from 1993 through 2002 (respectively, before and after approval of the operational guideline that served as the reference for the organization of the Unified Health System (Sistema Único de Saúde)). A negative binomial regression model that controlled for sex, age, geographic region, and socioeconomic conditions was used for the analysis. RESULTS: During the period analyzed, 1 854 165 individuals between 0 and 74 years old died from avoidable causes in the municipalities studied. The multivariate analysis showed that, for all three groups of avoidable causes, the risk of avoidable mortality was higher in the 1983-1992 subperiod than in the 1993-2002 subperiod. For the entire 1983-2002 period, the risk was higher for males than for females, especially with respect to ischemic heart disease. Younger populations had lower risk. Higher socioeconomic level reduced the risk of death from avoidable causes, except for ischemic heart disease. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that in Brazil the decrease in avoidable mortality from the 1983-1992 subperiod to the 1993-2002 subperiod was partially due to the changes in the availability of and access to health services brought about by the reorganization of the Brazilian health care system.

Keywords : Health care reform; health services research; mortality; cause of death; risk factors; Brazil.

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