State Government of Rio Grande do Sul
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Overall Mortality Rate and Mortality Rate by Causes of Death

In RS diseases of the circulatory system are the main cause of overall mortality

The Overall Mortality Rate is one of the mostly used measurements in public health, which expresses the relationship between the total number of deaths in a particular location and the population exposed to the risk of dying. In spite of not being considered a good indicator, it enables temporal comparisons and between different geographic units¹.

Brazil presented significant changes in cases of morbidity and mortality in the last 40 years, from a profile where there was the prevalence of typical problems of a predominantly young population to a profile in which notifications of chronic diseases are increasing, more specifically of a population with predominance of older age groups. According to the State Secretariat of Health, these changes were more strongly felt in Rio Grande do Sul, since the proportion of elderly people in the period was always higher than the Brazilian average. Several factors contributed to this: longer life expectancy among the federation units, continuous decline in infant mortality and birth rate, improvement of sanitation and urbanization, wide vaccination coverage and prevention of disease through greather access to health services. A higher prevalence of risk factors result from these factors, with morbi-mortality rates and rising costs of health care due, mainly, to cardiovascular diseases, neoplams, chronic respiratory diseases and external causes.

At present, in Rio Grande do Sul,  the groups of main causes of overall mortality for both sexes are: diseases of the circulatory system (27%); neoplasms or tumors (21.91%); diseases of the respiratory system (12.18%); external causes of morbidity and mortality (9.39%); diseases of the digestive system (4.49%); endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases (5.48%); and certain infectious and parasitic diseases (4.19%). And the ten main categories of diseases that lead to death are: acute myocardial infarction; other chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases; pneumonia; malignant neoplasm of bronchus and lung; diabetes mellitus; cerebrovascular accident; unknown causes of death without medical care; ischemic heart disease and hearth failure and aggression firing a firearm or an unspecified weapon.

Considering the evolution of the groups of main causes of overall mortality, it is important to emphasize the downward trend in the category of cardiovascular diseases since 1990, although it still remains with the highest indexes among the other diseases. It is also important to highlight the exponential increase of the category of neoplasms since 1970. On the other hand, the diminution of the share of ill-defined causes points out to a qualitative improvement in mortality records.

Concerning the distribution of the Overall Mortality Rate among the municipalities, it calls attention the relative concentration of indexes above the state average of 7.6 deaths per 1,000 inhabitants in 2015, among the municipalities located in the center and south of the State. 

¹ According to the State Secretariat of Health of RS, the quality of the data generated for the analysis of mortality is a valuable tool of epidemiological surveillance, as well as for the planning of actions and monitoring of their efficacy. The Mortality Information System of the State Secretariat of Health codifies all Death Certificates according to the rules of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems – ICD10. Therefore, the lower the percentage of notified deaths by ill-defined causes the better the quality of the information on mortality. (In: SES RS. A saúde da população do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul 2005. Porto Alegre, CEVS, 2006. 181 p.)

Evolution of overall mortality by major groups of causes in RS – 1970-2010 (%)
graf Evolution of overall mortality by major groups of causes in RS – 1970 2010

Source: SES RS/DAS - Estatísticas de Saúde 

25 Main causes of overall mortality for both sexes in RS – 2015 (%)
25 Main causes of overall mortality for both sexes in RS – 2015 (%)

Source: SES RS/DAS - Estatísticas de Saúde

Socioeconomic Atlas of Rio Grande do Sul