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Epidemiology and policy
P1-333 Years of potential life lost from assault with firearms or sharp objects among adolescents in Campo Grande, MS, Brazil, in 2007
  1. A P Silva,
  2. E R Pontes,
  3. J R Tognini
  1. Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul, Campo Grande, Brazil


Introduction In Brazil, mortality by external causes has reached epidemic proportions, having become the principal cause of death among male adolescents (Brazil, 2010). The aim of this study was to evaluate the years of potential life lost by this adolescent group in Campo Grande, MS, Brazil, in 2007.

Methods This retrospective study investigated deaths caused by assault with firearm discharge or sharp objects, as described in Chapter XX of the ICD-10 (WHO, 1996). The proportion of these deaths among adolescents aged 15 to 19 years was calculated. Data were collected from the Datasus database of the Brazilian Unified Health Care System.

Results For every 1000 deaths occurring in this age range in 2007, 528 were caused by assault with firearms or sharp objects. Considering that life expectancy in Mato Grosso do Sul State is 73.8 years (IBGE, 2007), 58.8 years of potential life are lost by every 15-year-old victim.

Conclusion Such a high rate of premature mortality not only reflects social vulnerability, but also reveals the failure of intersectoral policies to control a situation that affects the prospects of adolescents, their families, and society as a whole. Epidemiological knowledge must translate to ethically oriented approaches by healthcare managers and governmental policymakers in order to minimise these deaths, which represent a serious health hazard and social disease in Brazil.

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