Race, sex and depression-free life expectancy in Brazil, 1998–2013

Luciana Correia Alves, Claudia Cristina Pereira


Depression brings a great burden of disease to Brazil. This study investigates depression-free life expectancy (DFLE) between 1998 and 2013 in the country. We used data from Brazilian National Household Survey, National Health Survey and Life Tables provided by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics considering individuals 30 years and older. DFLE by race and sex was calculated using the Sullivan method. We observed improvements in DFLE over time, for all race/color groups. In general, men had a smaller share of years lived with depression when compared to women within the same race groups. Compared to whites, blacks/ browns and people of other races/colors had the highest DFLE for both men and women. White women had the lowest percentage of DFLE. Blacks displayed better estimates of DFLE and lower number of years living with depression than whites, despite the evidence of worse health outcomes depicted in the literature. Further research is needed to understand the lower depression prevalence found for blacks that reflects directly into a higher DFLE.


race; health inequalities; healthy life expectancy; depression-free life expectancy; Brazil

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18063/ijps.v4i1.412
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