Yuri Harada K, Gonçalves Silva J, Schenkman S, Tiemi Hayama E, Gonçalvez Santos R, Cainelli de Olivera Prado M, Petroni Pontes R. Delimitation of homogeneous regions in the UNIFESP/EPM healthcare center coverage area based on socioeconomic indicators. Revista Paulista de Medicina [ São Paulo Journal of Medicine] 1999; 117(1):25-33.

Objectives: To identify homogeneous regions based on socioeconomic indicators in the Federal University of São Paulo/ Paulista School of Medicine (UNIFESP/EPM) healthcare center coverage area and to locate in these regions the deaths that occurred during1995 as the result of various causes.

Methodology: Construction of homogeneous areas based on socioeconomic indicators obtained from the 1991 census. The indicators selected were: the percentage of people 60 years and over in age; the percentage of children between the ages of 0 and 4 years; the percentage of families with more than 15 years of schooling; the percentage of families with less than 1 year of schooling; the percentage of families with an income exceeding 20 times the minimum wage; and the percentage of families with incomes below the minimum wage.

Results: The data permitted the construction of four homogeneous regions on the basis of income. The percentage of children and older people did not vary significantly among regions. Minimum income and level of education showed a statistically significant difference (p<0.05) between the first region (the poorest) and the others. A clear trend toward increasing educational level was observed across the regions with increasing income. The rate of mortality in the first region also differed from the others since it included more deaths due to avoidable infectious diseases.

Conclusions: Clarification of these inequalities may contribute to improved prevention in primary healthcare.

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