Costs attributable to obesity, hypertension, and diabetes in the Unified Health System, Brazil, 2018

Nilson et al.


To estimate the cost attributable to arterial hypertension, diabetes and obesity in the Unified Health System of Brazil in 2018.


The study estimated the cost attributable to non-communicable chronic diseases based on relative risk and population prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, and obesity, considering the cost of hospitalizations, outpatient procedures, and medications distributed by the SUS to treat these diseases. Cost data were obtained from SUS information systems. The analysis explored the cost of disease according to sex and age in the adult population.


The total cost of hypertension, diabetes, and obesity in the SUS reached R$ 3.45 billion (95%CI: 3.15-3.75) in 2018, that is, more than US$ 890 million. Of this amount, 59% referred to the treatment of hypertension, 30% to diabetes, and 11% to obesity. The age group from 30 to 69 years accounted for 72% of the total costs, and women accounted for 56%. When obesity was considered separately as a risk factor for hypertension and diabetes, the cost attributable to this diseases reached R$ 1.42 billion (95%CI: 0.98-1.87), i.e., 41% of the total cost.


The estimates of costs attributable to the main chronic diseases associated with inadequate diet revealed a heavy economic burden of these disorders for the SUS. The data show the need to prioritize integrated and intersectoral policies for the prevention and control of hypertension, diabetes, and obesity, and may support the advocacy for interventions such as fiscal and regulatory measures to ensure that the objectives
of the United Nations Decade of Action on Nutrition are met.

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