Economic burden for the Brazilian Health System attributable to excessive sodium consumption
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Institute for Collective Health, Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto, Brazil
Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto, Brazil
Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil
Publication date: 2023-04-27
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1444
Background and Objective: Excessive sodium consumption (ESC) is associated with increased blood pressure, the main risk factor for cardiovascular diseases, and predisposes to kidney disease and gastric cancer. We aimed to estimate the burden of non-communicable diseases attributed to ESC and costs to the Nacional Unified Health System (SUS), in Brazil and Federative Units (FU), in 2019. Methodology: Ecological study that used the population attributable fraction (PAF) of the ESC estimated by the Global Burden of Disease 2019, considering the theoretical minimum risk exposure level (intake of up to 3g of sodium/day); the average consumption in the population; and the relative risks of risk-outcome pairs. The PAFs were applied to the total costs of hospitalizations and procedures of medium and high complexities (MAC) for each outcome related to the ESC paid by SUS, obtained from databases of the Outpatient and Hospital Information Systems. The amounts were converted to international dollars (U$). Results: ESC was responsible for 30814 deaths, 699119 DALY (disability-adjusted life year) and U$57,163245 spent of which U$52,275994 in hospitalizations and U$4,887,251 with MAC procedures in Brazil in 2019. Ischemic heart disease, stroke and chronic kidney disease represented more than 86% of this amount. The costs of hospitalizations and MAC procedures were higher for men, and almost 50% of the costs attributable to ESC were between 55-69 years. São Paulo and Minas Gerais were the FU’s that spent the highest values for the treatment of diseases attributable to ESC, while Roraima and Acre the lowest. Conclusions: The ESC causes a significant burden to the SUS, mainly among men and in the Southeast region. Research using health and economic modeling approaches provides important evidence for the implementation of regional public policies and cost-effective strategies for ESC reduction favoring better allocation of public resources to SUS.