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Objective: To estimate excess mortality by cause of death in Brazil and states in 2020. Methods: We estimated the expected number of deaths considering a linear trend analysis with the number of deaths between 2015 and 2019 for each group of causes and each federative unit. We calculated standardized mortality ratios (SMR) and 95% confidence intervals for each SMR assuming a Poisson distribution. We performed the analyses in the R program, version 4.1.3. Results: We observed a 19% excess in deaths in 2020 (SMR=1.19; 95%CI=1.18–1.20). The Infectious and Parasitic Diseases group stood out among the defined causes (SMR=4.80; 95%CI 4.78–4.82). The ill-defined causes showed great magnitude in this period (SMR=6.08; 95%CI 6.06–6.10). Some groups had lower-than-expected deaths: respiratory diseases (10% lower than expected) and external causes (4% lower than expected). In addition to the global analysis of the country, we identified significant heterogeneity among the federative units. States with the highest SMR are concentrated in the northern region, and those with the lowest SMR are concentrated in the southern and southeastern regions. Conclusion: Excess mortality occurs during the COVID-19 pandemic. This excess results not only from COVID-19 itself, but also from the social response and the management of the health system in responding to a myriad of causes that already had a trend pattern before it.
In the world, the governments' policy decisions in response to COVID-19 were very different. Many countries, including in the Americas, political polarisation in health policies has been used as a tool for ideological dispute, draining out the debate around the right to social protection and health. During 2021, these strategies were used in vaccination policies. The consequences of the dissemination of misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines overflows distrust and hesitation into an entire public health project.
The key message from this study is that the large uncertainty around the risk estimate needs to be further investigated because of a) the possible existence of co-factors that are yet to be validated, b) the assumptions that the authors needed to make in the absence of good data for the proportion of women who were infected during pregnancy.
Hosted by University Sao Paulo Medical School at the Centro de Convenções Rebouças ZIKAlliance, the multinational and multidisciplinary consortium coordinated by Inserm, the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, and created in response to a Horizon 2020 funding call by the European Commission’s Directorate-General Research and Innovation, has officially started its activities with the kick-off meeting held in Brazil over the 4th and 5th December 2016.
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