Physical inactivity as a risk factor for all-cause mortality in Brazil (1990-2017)


The aim of this study was to estimate the mortality from all causes as a result of physical inactivity in Brazil and in Brazilian states over 28 years (1990–2017).


Data from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study for Brazil and states were used. The metrics used were the summary exposure value (SEV), the number of deaths, age-standardized mortality rates, and the fraction of population risk attributable to physical inactivity.


The Brazilian population presented risk of exposure to physical inactivity of (age-standardized SEV) of 59% (95% U.I. 22–97) in 1990 and 59% in 2017 (95% U.I. 25–99). Physical inactivity contributed a significant number of deaths (1990, 22,537, 95% U.I. 12,157–34,745; 2017, 32,410, 95% U.I. 17,976–49,657) in the analyzed period. These values represented mortality rates standardized by age (per 100,000 inhabitants) of 31 (95% U.I. 17–48) in 1990 and 15 (95% U.I. 8–23) in 2017. From 1990 to 2017, a decrease in standardized death rate from all causes attributable to physical inactivity was observed in Brazil (− 52%, 95% U.I. − 54 to − 49). The Brazilian states with better socioeconomic conditions presented greater reductions in age-standardized mortality (male: rho = 0.80; female: rho 0.84) over the period of 28 years.


These findings support the promotion of physical activity in the Brazilian population for the prevention of early mortality.

Lead Researchers

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  1. Mark S. Tremblay

    Senior Scientist, CHEO Research Institute

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