Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
MAUAD, Thais et al. Characterization of autopsy-proven fatal asthma patients in São Paulo, Brazil. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2008, vol.23, n.6, pp. 418-423. ISSN 1020-4989. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49892008000600007.
Few data are available on autopsy-proven fatal asthma patients in São Paulo, Brazil. We characterized 73 asthma patients who were autopsied at the Serviço de Verificação de Óbitos da Universidade de São Paulo between 1996 and 2004. An interview with the next of kin assessed socioeconomic status, history, and treatment of asthma. There were 42 women and 31 men. Fifty-six (76.7%) of them were older than 34 years. Sixty-three percent were Caucasians, 77.3% had < 8 years of schooling, and the median income was 1.6 times the minimum wage. Twenty-two patients (30.1%) were smokers and 14 (19.2%) were ex-smokers. Only 25 (34.2%) patients were regularly followed by a doctor. Only 12.3% received inhaled steroids. Thirty-five patients (47.9%) had moderate-to-severe asthma. Fifty-five (75.3%) deaths took place outside a hospital. We conclude that this population shares characteristics of severe or poorly controlled asthma, low educational and socioeconomic levels, and lack of medical care and of inhaled steroid use.
Keywords : Asthma; autopsy; socioeconomic factors; Brazil.