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Epidemiologia e Serviços de Saúde

versão impressa ISSN 1679-4974versão On-line ISSN 2237-9622


CARMO, Eduardo Hage; BARRETO, Maurício Lima  e  SILVA JR., Jarbas Barbosa da. Changes in the pattern of morbidity and mortality of the brazilian population: challenges for a new century. Epidemiol. Serv. Saúde [online]. 2003, vol.12, n.2, pp.63-75. ISSN 1679-4974.

In this paper, the morbidity and mortality trends of the Brazilian population are analyzed prioritizing the intense transformations that occurred during the 20th century. Data from the national information systems for mortality, hospitalization, notifiable infectious diseases surveillance and, from specific control programs of the Ministry of Health was used. A decrease in the mortality for infectious and parasitic diseases and, an increase of chronic-degenerative diseases, accidents and violence-related health events were among the most important observed trends. Despite these changes infectious disease continue to be a relevant health problem for the Brazilian population. The morbidity trends analysis for this group of diseases depicts three distinct patterns: transmissible diseases with a decreasing trend, represented by those with effective prevention and control tools, such as vaccination; transmissible diseases with a persistent pattern, such as hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis, leishmaniosis, schistosomiasis and malaria, among others; and, emerging and reemerging diseases, such as aids, dengue and hantavirus. These trends are present in the context of extreme complexity and social inequality. Appropriate analytical approaches for a better understaing need to be developed making possible the proposition and adoption of health politicies that aim to maintain the conquests of previous years, to extend the effectiveness of health actions towards promotion, prevention and care. It must include efforts to reduce social and health inequalities responsible for the production pattern of morbidity and mortality. In this way the health system will be prepared to confront the new challenges of the country's public health agenda.

Palavras-chave : morbidity and mortality patterns; epidemiological transition; historical trends.

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