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Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Cadernos de Saúde Pública, suppl 1(38), 2022

DOI: 10.1590/0102-311x00124421



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Socio-spatial inequalities in healthy life expectancy in the elderly, Brazil, 2013 and 2019

This paper is made freely available by the publisher.
This paper is made freely available by the publisher.

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The growth in longevity in Brazil has drawn attention to more useful population health measures to complement mortality. In this paper, we investigate socio-spatial differences in life expectancy and healthy life expectancy based on information from the Brazilian National Health Survey (PNS), 2013 and 2019. A three-stage cluster sampling with stratification of the primary sampling units and random selection in all stages was used in both PNS editions. Healthy life expectancy was estimated by Sullivan’s method by sex, age, and Federated Units (UF). Severe limitations to at least one noncommunicable chronic disease (NCD) or poor self-rated health were used to define the unhealthy state. Inequality indicators and a Principal Component analysis were used to investigate socio-spatial inequalities. From 2013 to 2019, both life expectancy and healthy life expectancy increased. The analysis by UF show larger disparities in healthy life expectancy than in life expectancy, with healthy life expectancy at age 60 varying from 13.6 to 19.9 years, in 2013, and from 14.9 to 20.1, in 2019. Healthy life expectancy in the wealthiest quintile was 20% longer than for those living in the poorest quintile. Wide socio-spatial disparities were found with the worst indicators in the UF located in the North and Northeast regions, whether considering poverty concentration or health care utilization. The socio-spatial inequalities demonstrated the excess burden of poor health experienced by older adults living in the less developed UF. The development of strategies at subnational levels is essential not only to provide equal access to health care but also to reduce risk exposures and support prevention policies for adoption of health behaviors.