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Revista de Saúde Pública

Print version ISSN 0034-8910


JACINTO, Paulo de Andrade; TEJADA, César Augusto Oviedo  and  SOUSA, Tanara Rosângela Vieira de. Effects of macroeconomic conditions on health in Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2010, vol.44, n.2, pp.310-317. ISSN 0034-8910.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze the relationship between macroeconomic conditions and health in Brazil. METHODS: The analysis of the impact of employment and income on mortality in Brazil was based on panel data from Brazilian states between 1981 and 2002. Mortality rates obtained from the national mortality database was used as a proxy for health status, whereas the variables employment, income, and illiteracy rates were used as proxies for macroeconomic and socioeconomic conditions. Static and dynamic models were applied for the analysis of two hypotheses: a) there is a positive relationship between mortality rates and income and employment, as suggested by Ruhm; b) there is a negative relationship between mortality rates and income and employment, as suggested by Brenner. RESULTS: There was found a negative relationship between mortality rates (proxy for health) and macroeconomic conditions (measured by employment rate). The estimates indicated that the overall mortality rate was higher during economic recession, suggesting that as macroeconomic conditions improved, increasing employment rates, there was a decrease in the mortality rate. The estimate for the relationship between illiteracy (proxy for education level) and mortality rate showed that higher levels of education can improve health. CONCLUSIONS: The results from the static and dynamic models support Brenner's hypothesis that there is a negative relationship between mortality rates and macroeconomic conditions.

Keywords : Employment; Income; Educational Status; Mortality; Economic Indexes; Socioeconomic Factors.

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