Trends in asthma mortality in young people in southern Brazil
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BACKGROUND: Mortality from asthma increased and is now declining in some countries, but little is known about these trends in South America. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to assess trends in mortality from asthma in southern Brazil in children and young adults. METHODS: Death certificates of 425 people in the state of Rio Grande do Sul aged between 5 and 39 years in whom asthma was reported to be the underlying cause of death during the period 1970 to 1992 were reviewed. Population data were available in 10-year age groups. Testing for trends in mortality rates was conducted using linear and log-linear regression procedures. RESULTS: Asthma mortality rates in the age groups 5 to 19 and 20 to 39 years ranged between 0.04 and 0.39/100,000 and 0.28 to 0.75/100,000, respectively, and were nonuniformly distributed over the study period. The mean annual increase in rate in 5- to 19-year olds was +0.01 (95% CI 0.003 to 0.016), an average annual percentage increase of +6.8% (95% CI 3% to 11%), with a total increase of 352% between 1970 and 1992. This increase was not due to a shift in labeling from bronchitis to asthma. In the 20 to 39-year age group, asthma and bronchitis mortality rates showed no trend to increase or decrease. CONCLUSIONS: Asthma mortality in southern Brazil is low, but rose significantly between 1970 and 1992 in the 5 to 19-year age group. This trend differs from that found in other states of Brazil and several other Latin American countries. Reasons for this difference remain unclear.
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