Population ageing is observed throughout the world, especially in developing countries where this growth is even faster. Ageing leads to the overlapping of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and transmitted diseases (TDs) as the main causes of morbidity and mortality. This study describes the distribution of avoidable mortality from the Brazilian List of Preventability (LBE) among the elderly (60–75 years) in the cities of Belo Horizonte, Porto Alegre and Recife in the years 2003–2007. Data on elderly mortality were taken from the Mortality Information System (SIM). The profile of causes of death in the three cities showed no significant differences. In all of them, LBE preventable causes of deaths were more frequent—average of 2907 deaths (60%). The NCDs accounted for 1248 deaths (83.2%). Ischaemic heart diseases was the largest cause of NCDs. Among the TDs (n=163 deaths), respiratory infections were the main cause of death. Among causes avoidable by immunisation, TB was the most prevalent. Accidents and violence were 2.2 times more frequent among men. In the three cities, traffic accidents were also prominent. Preventable deaths predominated, especially NCDs, despite there also being a significant number of deaths from TDs. The use of the LBE showed the process of epidemiological transition in the three cities. I order to reduce premature mortality among the elderly, it is essential to invest in programs and actions promoting health and prevention of both NCDs and TDs.
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