Asthma Mortality in Southern Brazil: Is There a Changing Trend?
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BACKGROUND: Mortality from asthma increased during the last decades but is now declining in some countries. Little is known about this trend in Brazil. OBJECTIVE: The objective of the study was to determine the trends in asthma mortality in Southern Brazil. METHODS: We reviewed death certificates of 566 people in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, between 5 and 39 years of age in whom asthma was reported to be the underlying cause of death during the period of 1981-2003. Population data were available in 5-year age groups. Mortality rates were submitted to linear and quadratic regression procedures. RESULTS: Among children and teenagers (5-19 years), there were 170 asthma deaths, ranging from 4 to 13 deaths each year with rates of 0.154/100,000 to 0.481/100,000. In young adults (20-39 years), 396 asthma deaths occurred, ranging from 9 to 32 each year, with rates from 0.276/100,000 to 1.034/100,000. There was an initial increase in rates, with later stabilization, and then the start of a decline beginning in the late 1990s and the early part of this decade. This trend occurred in both age subgroups examined but was more evident in males. CONCLUSIONS: Asthma mortality in southern Brazil remains low and appears to be decreasing after reaching a peak in the mid-1990s. The reason for these trends remains unknown.
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