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A panorama of health inequities in Brazil

Edited by Dr James Macinko and Dr Célia Szwarcwald 
International Journal for Equity in Health

This series demonstrates the current breadth and depth of health inequities in Brazil across multiple health outcomes and stratifying variables, and illustrates a variety of methodological approaches to assessing and understanding such inequities.

All articles incorporate data from the 2013 Brazilian National Health Survey (Pesquisa Nacional de Saúde). This nationally-representative household survey includes data on over 60,000 individuals and incorporates questions on self-reported health services access and utilization, chronic disease, maternal health, physical functioning, mental and physical health status, injuries, and violence.

Papers have been selected based on scientific merit and efforts have been made to compose a selection of papers that are complementary, touch on key themes of inequalities in Brazil, and that explore the different ways in which social conditions reflect different aspects of health inequalities in such a large and diverse country.

This collection of articles has not been sponsored and articles have undergone the journal’s standard peer review process. The Guest Editors declare no competing interests.

View all collections published in International Journal for Equity in Health


  1. Research

    Social inequalities in the prevalence of self-reported chronic non-communicable diseases in Brazil: national health survey 2013

    Considering the high socioeconomic inequalities in Brazil related to occurrence of morbidity and premature mortality, the objective of this study was to analyze inequalities in self-reported prevalence of Non-...

    Deborah Carvalho Malta, Regina Tomie Ivata Bernal, Maria de Fatima Marinho de Souza, Celia Landman Szwarcwald, Margareth Guimarães Lima and Marilisa Berti de Azevedo Barros

    International Journal for Equity in Health 2016 15:153

    Published on: 17 November 2016

  2. Research

    Social inequalities in health behaviors among Brazilian adults: National Health Survey, 2013

    Considering the high socioeconomic inequalities prevailing in Brazil and lifestyle as a strong determinant of morbidity and premature mortality, our purpose was to evaluate the degree of socioeconomic disparit...

    Marilisa Berti de Azevedo Barros, Margareth Guimarães Lima, Lhais de Paula Barbosa Medina, Celia Landman Szwarcwald and Deborah Carvalho Malta

    International Journal for Equity in Health 2016 15:148

    Published on: 17 November 2016

  3. Research

    Changes in health care inequity in Brazil between 2008 and 2013

    Brazil has made progress towards a more equitable distribution of health care, but gains may be threatened by economic instability resulting from the 2008 global financial crisis. This study measured predictor...

    Pricila Mullachery, Diana Silver and James Macinko

    International Journal for Equity in Health 2016 15:140

    Published on: 17 November 2016

  4. Research

    The effect of the Family Health Strategy on usual source of care in Brazil: data from the 2013 National Health Survey (PNS 2013)

    A usual source of care (USC) has been conceptualized as having a health provider or place available for patients to consult when sick or in need of medical care. Having a USC is a means to achieve longitudinal...

    Inês Dourado, Maria Guadalupe Medina and Rosana Aquino

    International Journal for Equity in Health 2016 15:151

    Published on: 17 November 2016

  5. Research

    Regional disparities in road traffic injuries and their determinants in Brazil, 2013

    In recent decades middle-income countries have experienced a rapid increase in the number of cars and motorcycles. Increased deaths and hospitalizations due to road traffic injuries (RTI) has been observed in ...

    Otaliba Libanio Morais Neto, Ana Lúcia Andrade, Rafael Alves Guimarães, Polyana Maria Pimenta Mandacarú and Gabriela Camargo Tobias

    International Journal for Equity in Health 2016 15:142

    Published on: 17 November 2016

  6. Research

    Coverage and equity in reproductive and maternal health interventions in Brazil: impressive progress following the implementation of the Unified Health System

    The Brazilian SUS (Unified Health System) was created in 1988 within the new constitution, based on the premises of being universal, comprehensive, and equitable. The SUS offers free health care, independent o...

    Giovanny V. A. França, María Clara Restrepo-Méndez, Maria Fátima S. Maia, Cesar G. Victora and Aluísio J. D. Barros

    International Journal for Equity in Health 2016 15:149

    Published on: 17 November 2016

  7. Research

    Regional and social inequalities in the performance of Pap test and screening mammography and their correlation with lifestyle: Brazilian national health survey, 2013

    Mass population screening for the early detection of cervical and breast cancer has been shown to be a safe and effective strategy worldwide and has reduced the incidence and mortality rates of these diseases....

    Mariza Miranda Theme Filha, Maria do Carmo Leal, Elaine Fernandes Viellas de Oliveira, Ana Paula Esteves-Pereira and Silvana Granado Nogueira da Gama

    International Journal for Equity in Health 2016 15:136

    Published on: 17 November 2016

  8. Research

    Inequalities in healthy life expectancy by Brazilian geographic regions: findings from the National Health Survey, 2013

    The demographic shift and epidemiologic transition in Brazil have drawn attention to ways of measuring population health that complement studies of mortality. In this paper, we investigate regional differences...

    Célia Landmann Szwarcwald, Paulo Roberto Borges de Souza Júnior, Aline Pinto Marques, Wanessa da Silva de Almeida and Dalia Elena Romero Montilla

    International Journal for Equity in Health 2016 15:141

    Published on: 17 November 2016

  9. Research

    Inequities in access to depression treatment: results of the Brazilian National Health Survey – PNS

    Despite depression being one of the most prevalent mental disorders in the world, access to treatment is still insufficient, especially in low- and middle-income countries. The aim of this study is to investig...

    Claudia Souza Lopes, Natália Hellwig, Gulnar de Azevedo e Silva and Paulo Rossi Menezes

    International Journal for Equity in Health 2016 15:154

    Published on: 17 November 2016

  10. Research

    Socioeconomic inequalities in activities of daily living limitations and in the provision of informal and formal care for noninstitutionalized older Brazilians: National Health Survey, 2013

    This study assesses the association between socioeconomic factors and living arrangements with activity of daily living limitations (ADL) and the receipt of informal and formal care among non-institutionalized...

    Ma.Fernanda Lima-Costa, Juliana V. M. Mambrini, Sérgio V. Peixoto, Deborah C. Malta and James Macinko

    International Journal for Equity in Health 2016 15:137

    Published on: 17 November 2016

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