National Health Survey, laboratory analyses and monitoring of Noncommunicable Diseases reduction targets

Deborah Carvalho Malta Célia Landman Szwarcwald Cimar Azeredo Pereira About the authors

The National Health Survey (in Portuguese: Pesquisa Nacional de Saude - PNS) is renowned for being the most comprehensive population health survey conducted in the country and was performed twice, namely in 2013 and 2019. The survey was conducted by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) in partnership with the Ministry of Health and in collaboration with teaching and research institutions. The NHS includes topics on health determinants and conditions, access and use of services, chronic diseases, violence, risk factors, life cycles, anthropometric measurements, as well as including an innovation in 2013, by including the collection of blood pressure measurements and biological samples (blood and urine) in a subsample of about 9000 participants.

This supplement of Revista Ciência e Saúde Coletiva contains articles based on the results of the laboratory tests of NHS 2013 and contributes to the acquisition of knowledge about the health of the Brazilian population. Among the analyses, the comparison between the self-reported data and the biochemical tests of Diabetes Mellitus, chronic kidney disease (CKD) and Cholesterol, point to the fact that the self-reported measurements tend to underestimate the prevalence of the diseases, and the conclusion drawn is that there is a need to incorporate the laboratory component in the routine of health surveys. Recently analyzed and published data show that CKD is underestimated in the country and laboratory estimates reveal a 4 times higher prevalence among adults11 Malta DC, Machado IE, Pereira CA, Figueiredo AW, Aguiar LK, Almeida WS, Souza MFM, Rosenfeld LG, Szwarcwald CK. Avaliação da função renal na população adulta brasileira, segundo critérios laboratoriais da Pesquisa Nacional de Saúde. Rev. bras. epidemiol. [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2021 Mar 05]; 22(Supl. 2):E190010.SUPL.2. Available from: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1415-790X2019000300407&lng=en
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In this supplement, analyses of different calculation parameters to estimate the Cardiovascular Risk (CVR) of the Brazilian population identified a broad variation in the proportion of individuals classified as having high CVR, leading to difficulties in selecting the target population for prioritizing public policies. The results indicate the need to improve the definition of reference values for Brazilian laboratory tests, based on national studies.

The results of the NHS laboratory exams presented here, as well as analyses of population surveys, make it possible to monitor the goals of the Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs). Since 2015, with the increase in inequalities and implemented austerity policies, there has been a worsening in the indicators of risk factors (RF) of NCDs (tobacco, consumption of fruits and vegetables, physical activity, obesity). These data reinforce the importance of moving forward with health promotion actions and policies and regulatory measures to address NCDs.

Revista Ciência e Saúde Coletiva has highlighted the importance of PNS in the context of Brazilian public health, providing timely, quality information that can guide health planning, future directions, advances and challenges. Many other analyses will be possible with this important database, in order to seek answers for public health. It should also be stressed that the laboratory component was not collected in NHS 2019, such that the basis of NHS 2013 remains unique, offering an opportunity for new analyses, especially aiming to explore aspects related to social determinants and health inequalities. Another important aspect is the need to incorporate this component in future research, as well as the defense of the sustainability of this important research for Brazilian Public Health.

References

  • 1
    Malta DC, Machado IE, Pereira CA, Figueiredo AW, Aguiar LK, Almeida WS, Souza MFM, Rosenfeld LG, Szwarcwald CK. Avaliação da função renal na população adulta brasileira, segundo critérios laboratoriais da Pesquisa Nacional de Saúde. Rev. bras. epidemiol [Internet]. 2019 [cited 2021 Mar 05]; 22(Supl. 2):E190010.SUPL.2. Available from: http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1415-790X2019000300407&lng=en
    » http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1415-790X2019000300407&lng=en

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    19 Apr 2021
  • Date of issue
    Apr 2021
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