Brazil has high burdens of tuberculosis (TB) and HIV, as previously estimated for the 26 states and the Federal District, as well as high levels of inequality in social and health indicators. We improved the geographic detail of burden estimation by modeling deaths due to TB and HIV and TB case fatality ratios for the more than 5,400 municipalities in Brazil.
This ecological study used vital registration data from the national mortality information system and TB case notifications from the national communicable disease notification system from 2001 to 2015. Mortality due to TB and HIV was modeled separately by cause and sex using a Bayesian spatially explicit mixed effects regression model. TB incidence was modeled using the same approach. Results were calibrated to the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016. Case fatality ratios were calculated for TB.
There was substantial inequality in TB and HIV mortality rates within the nation and within states. National-level TB mortality in people without HIV infection declined by nearly 50% during 2001 to 2015, but HIV mortality declined by just over 20% for males and 10% for females. TB and HIV mortality rates for municipalities in the 90th percentile nationally were more than three times rates in the 10th percentile, with nearly 70% of the worst-performing municipalities for male TB mortality and more than 75% for female mortality in 2001 also in the worst decile in 2015. The same municipality ranking metric for HIV was between 55 and 61%. Within states, the TB mortality rate ratios by sex for municipalities in the worst decile versus the best decile varied from 1.4 to 2.9, and HIV varied from 1.4 to 4.2. The World Health Organization target case fatality rate for TB of less than 10% was achieved in 9.6% of municipalities for males versus 38.4% for females in 2001 and improved to 38.4% and 56.6% of municipalities for males versus females, respectively, by 2014.
Mortality rates in municipalities within the same state exhibited as much relative variation as within the nation as a whole. Monitoring the mortality burden at this level of geographic detail is critical for guiding precision public health responses.
Ross JM, Henry NJ, Dwyer-Lindgren LA, de Paula Lobo A, Marinho de Souza F, Biehl MH, Ray SE, Reiner RC, Stubbs RW, Wiens KE, Earl L, Kutz MJ, Bhattacharjee NV, Kyu HH, Naghavi M, Hay SI. Progress toward eliminating TB and HIV deaths in Brazil, 2001–2015: a spatial assessment. BMC Medicine. 6 September 2018. doi:10.1186/s12916-018-1131-6.