Physical activity and preventable premature deaths from non-communicable diseases in Brazil

Leandro Fórnias Machado de Rezende*, Leandro Martin Totaro Garcia, Grégore Iven Mielke, Dong Hoon Lee, Edward Giovannucci, José Eluf-Neto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
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Studies on the impact of counterfactual scenarios of physical activity on premature deaths from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are sparse in the literature. We estimated preventable premature deaths from NCDs (diabetes, ischemic heart disease, stroke, and breast and colon cancers) in Brazil by increasing population-wide physical activity (i) to theoretical minimum risk exposure levels; (ii) reaching the physical activity recommendation; (iii) reducing insufficient physical activity by 10%; and (iv) eliminating the gender differences in physical activity.

Preventable fractions were estimated using data from a nationally representative survey, relative risks from a meta-analysis and number of premature deaths (30–69 years) from the Brazilian Mortality Information System.

Physical activity could potentially avoid up to 16 700 premature deaths from NCDs in Brazil, corresponding to 5.75 and 3.23% of premature deaths from major NCDs and of all-causes, respectively. Other scenarios suggested the following impact on premature deaths: reaching physical activity recommendation (5000 or 1.74% of major NCDs); 10% reduction in insufficient physical activity (500 or 0.17% of major NCDs); eliminating gender differences in physical activity (1000 or 0.33% of major NCDs).

Physical activity may play an important role to reduce premature deaths from NCD in Brazil.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e253–e260
JournalJournal of Public Health
Early online date20 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 01 Sept 2019
Externally publishedYes


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