Health and economic growth among the states of Brazil from 1991 to 2000
Revista Brasileira de Estudos de População
Health status can affect economic growth through at least three mechanisms: 1) directly, through the relationship between health status and individual earnings, 2) indirectly, through the effect of health on levels of education, and 3) through physical capital investments. Poor health status causes considerable losses in individual income by decreasing labor productivity, numbers of hours worked, and participation in the labor force. These losses can affect a population's level of wealth and
... el of wealth and contribute to decreased social well-being. The main goal of this study is to assess the relationship between health and economic growth among the Brazilian states between 1991 and 2000. In order to take into account the different epidemiological and morbidity profiles observed among the states, several health measures were selected such as infant mortality rate, hospital mortality rate in the public healthcare system due to perinatal complications, and proportion of deaths from selected causes (vascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, AIDS and other communicable diseases, homicides and ill-defined causes). Our main findings show that in Brazil health correlates positively with economic growth. We also found that decreases in infant mortality rates are closely associated with higher rates of economic growth. We found a significant negative relationship for health indicators that are related to poverty, less access to health care services and deaths from avoidable causes, such as communicable diseases and hospital mortality rates due to perinatal complications. In contrast, we found a positive and significant correlation between the proportion of deaths from diabetes and cancer, on the one hand, and economic growth, on the other.