The problem of chronic and degenerative diseases and of accidents in the urban areas of Latin America

Some health problems have been enhanced by the swift urbanization that Latin America cities are going through at present. Chronic and degenerative diseases besides accidents, moreover those caused by traffic and occupational hazards, in these areas have shown an increasing trend as regards incidence, measured by mortality rates. Cardiovascular problems and malignant tumours, among the chronic diseases, reveal at times higher mortality rates than those observed in cities of highly developed countries. The incidence of traffic accidents and those due to occupational hazards is also discussed. These too are indeed more often than what is usually observed in developed countries. These aspects are increasingly demanding more services but are a problem as regards priorities for, in Latin America, infeccious diseases still contribute with very high mortality rates, on the contrary of what goes on in highly developed countries where infeccious diseases have almost been abolished. Thus, for example, in the city of S. Paulo although there is a great demand for services to cope with chronic and degenerative diseases and accident hazards, a considerable ammount of public expenditures is directed towards infeccious diseases.

Urbanization; Public Health; Chronic and degenerative diseases; Accidents

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