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Hypertension and diabetes mellitus have also increased deaths during the pandemic


Lidiane Nóbrega (Fiocruz News Agency)


Published in the journal PLOS Global Public Health, a study by Fiocruz researchers pointed out that mortality trends in Brazil, even excluding deaths from COVID-19, increased between 2020 and 2022. The investigation into possible causes found that the average number of deaths from diabetes mellitus and hypertension was higher than the global rates, when comparing mortality data between 2015 and 2019 and 2020 and 2022.

The study was coordinated by Rodrigo Moreira, a researcher at the Evandro Chagas National Institute of Infectious Diseases (INI/Fiocruz), with Leonardo Bastos and Antonio Pacheco as co-authors, both from Fiocruz's Scientific Computing Program (Procc/Fiocruz). The survey also involved researchers from the Getúlio Vargas Foundation and the University of Montreal (Canada). The mortality data used comes from the Mortality Information System (SIM), available on DataSUS. Population data was obtained from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) through the IBGE System of Automatic Recovery (Sidra).

Titled Persistent High Mortality Rates for Diabetes Mellitus and Hypertension after Excluding Deaths Associated with COVID-19 in Brazil, 2020-2022, the article points out that, out of a total of 11,423,288 deaths registered in the country in the period assessed, mortality rates remained stable until 2019, but increased sharply in 2020 and 2021. There was a decrease in 2022, but still not to the previous level. When disregarding COVID-19 death records, the research showed that trends in diabetes mellitus, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases increased between 2020 and 2022, albeit more gently.

According to the survey, the increase in diabetes mellitus and hypertension began in the younger age groups (0-19 and 20-29, respectively). Overall, adjusted mortality rates were, respectively, 9% and 24% higher in 2020 and 2021 compared to 2015 to 2019, while in 2022 they were 2% lower.

As to cardiovascular diseases, the research showed that rates followed the same pattern as global rates - an increase in the years 2020 and 2021 and a return to lower levels in 2022. “The pandemic has had a lasting impact on mortality rates from these diseases and the figures analyzed highlight the need for continued attention to managing and preventing these diseases as part of public health strategies, both during and after the pandemic,” said the authors of the article.

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