Burden of liver disease in Brazil

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Background & Aims:

The burden of liver diseases in the Brazilian population is still unknown. To assess the impact of liver diseases on hospital admissions and mortality within the framework of the Brazilian Unified Health System.


An analytical ecological observational study was carried out. Secondary data on hospital admissions and deaths because of liver disease were collected from the Unified Health System Information Technology Department (DATASUS) database, between 2001 and 2010. All liver diseases included in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) were reviewed.


Liver diseases were the eighth leading cause of death in Brazil. The prevalence of hospital admission because of liver disease during the period of analysis was 0.72% (853 571 hospitalizations), and the mortality rate was 3.34% (308 290 deaths). The mean age at hospital admission and death because of liver disease was 48.05 and 58.10 years respectively. Both hospitalization and death because of liver disease were more common among men, and followed an upward trend over the years. Cirrhosis was the main cause of hospital admissions and death by liver disease in Brazil. The South region of the country had the highest hospital admission rates because of liver disease in Brazil, whereas the Southeast region had the highest mortality rate.


This study provides evidence of the relevance of liver diseases within the framework of the Brazilian Unified Health System, and shows that the burden of these diseases is not only significant but progressive, at least in terms of hospital admissions and mortality rate.

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