Skip to main content

Epidemiology, management, complications and costs associated with type 2 diabetes in Brazil: a comprehensive literature review



With an estimated 74% of all deaths attributable to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in 2010, NCDs have become a major health priority in Brazil. The objective of the study was to conduct a comprehensive literature review on diabetes in Brazil; specifically: the epidemiology of type 2 diabetes, the availability of national and regional sources of data (particularly in terms of direct and indirect costs) and health policies for the management of diabetes and its complications.


A literature search was conducted using PubMed to identify articles containing information on diabetes in Brazil. Official documents from the Brazilian government and the World Health Organization, as well as other grey literature and official government websites were also reviewed.


From 2006 to 2010, an approximate 20% increase in the prevalence of self-reported diabetes was observed. In 2010, it was estimated that 6.3% of Brazilians aged 18 years or over had diabetes. Diabetes was estimated to be responsible for 278,778 years of potential life lost for every 100,000 people. In 2013, it is estimated that about 7% of patients with diabetes has had one or more of the following complications: diabetic foot ulcers, amputation, kidney disease, and fundus changes. The estimated annual direct cost of diabetes was USD $3.952 billion in 2000; the estimated annual indirect cost was USD $18.6 billion. The two main sources of data on diabetes are the information systems of the Ministry of Health and surveys. In the last few years, the Brazilian Ministry of Health has invested considerably in improving surveillance systems for NCDs as well as implementing specific programmes to improve diagnosis and access to treatment.


Brazil has the capacity to address and respond to NCDs due to the leadership of the Ministry of Health in NCD prevention activities, including an integrated programme currently in place for diabetes. Strengthening the surveillance of NCDs is a national priority along with recognising the urgent need to invest in improving the coverage and quality of mortality data. It is also essential to conduct regular surveys of risk factors on a national scale in order to design effective preventive strategies.


Brazil is an upper middle-income country with a population of 190,755,799 inhabitants [1] and a per capita gross domestic product of USD $ 10,993 (current exchange rate) in 2011. With a land area covering 47% of Latin America [2], Brazil has marked regional inequalities in terms of climate, social development, income and other indicators.

Following democratisation of the country from 1994 onwards, Brazil has experienced a period of economic growth, which allowed the implementation of social development policies [3]. This has led to slow but stable improvements in social indicators, particularly reductions in poverty and in regional inequalities. In the 70s and early 80s, Brazil underwent a period of social mobilisation in which people campaigned for basic rights, including universal health care access. The demand for greater decentralisation of public resources led to an increase in the budget of cities and states. These factors contributed to the implementation of the Brazilian Unified Health System (SUS - Sistema Único de Saúde) in 1990 [4].

SUS is intended to provide healthcare free of charge to the whole Brazilian population, financed through direct and indirect sources such as tax revenues, social contributions, out-of-pocket spending, and employers’ health-care spending [5]. It includes primary health care units, hospitals, emergency departments, laboratories and blood centres. In 2006, SUS budget reached around USD $15 billion, which represents 54% of the country’s total health expenses [6]. Although access has expanded over the years, the increasing demands on SUS have had negative repercussions on the quality of the services delivered and on waiting times in hospitals and emergency departments [5].

In 2011, 22% of total health expenditure was spent on the payment of private health insurance [7]. The proportion of out-of-pocket expenses has continued to rise in spite of the implementation of SUS, from 9% in 1981 to 15% in 2003 and 19% in 2008 [5]. Out-of-pocket expenses are particularly concerning due to the difficulty in accurately predicting these costs [8] which can lead to catastrophic health spending. This is a problem affecting up to 16% of all Brazilian families [811].

Brazil and various other Latin American countries have undergone rapid demographic, epidemiological and nutritional transitions [12]. Dietary shifts towards low consumption of fiber and heavy consumption of saturated fatty acids and sugar and sedentary lifestyles are key contributors to the incidence of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic diseases [13]. Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) have become a major health priority in Brazil with an estimated 74% of all deaths attributable to NCDs in 2010 [14]. National estimates indicate that people with diabetes experience a 57% greater risk of death than the general population [15]. Beyond the health burden, diabetes is also responsible for increased use of health services and increased costs. Between 1999–2001, it was estimated that about 7.4% of all non-pregnancy related admissions to hospitals and 9.3% of all hospital costs in Brazil were attributable to diabetes [16].

In the present study we aimed to: (i) identify existing data sources on the prevalence of diabetes and its complications, as well as the direct and indirect costs of diabetes in Brazil; (ii) describe the prevalence of diabetes and its complications - retinopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy, diabetic foot ulcers, amputation, kidney disease, fundus changes, vascular complications; (iii) report evidence on direct and indirect costs; and (iv) review health policies for the management of diabetes and its complications.


A comprehensive literature search was conducted to identify articles containing information on type 2 diabetes in Brazil. The following PubMed search strategy was used: ("diabetes mellitus" [MeSH Terms] OR ("diabetes" [All Fields] AND "mellitus" [All Fields]) OR "diabetes mellitus" [All Fields] OR "diabetes" [All Fields] OR "diabetes insipidus" [MeSH Terms] OR ("diabetes" [All Fields] AND "insipidus" [All Fields]) OR "diabetes insipidus" [All Fields]) AND ("brazil" [MeSH Terms] OR "brazil" [All Fields]). The search was limited to articles published in Portuguese, English or Spanish between 2000 and October 2011, without any restrictions on the study design or the level (national or regional) at which the data were collected.

We included all publications providing information on one or more of the following end-points related to diabetes type 2 in Brazil: prevalence and incidence, management (treatment, access, and inequalities), complications (retinopathy, nephropathy, neuropathy, diabetic foot ulcers, amputation, kidney disease, fundus changes, vascular complications) and direct and indirect costs.

Articles were first screened by title and then by abstract. Full-text of selected publications were retrieved and examined regarding eligibility. Reference lists of the selected articles were scrutinized in order to identify relevant references. Official documents from the Brazilian government and the World Health Organization (WHO) were also examined. In addition, we identified unpublished work in the grey literature through Google, the researchers’ own knowledge and consultations with diabetes experts in Brazil.

Results and discussion

We identified 2,699 articles published between 2000 and October 2011. The screening phase enabled us to identify 87 publications, which were retrieved for detailed evaluation. Forty-two publications met the eligibility criteria (Table 1).

Table 1 Literature review

Data sources on diabetes in Brazil

The Ministry of Health has developed a comprehensive surveillance system for NCDs and their risk factors [17]. For diabetes, data is available on morbidity (Hospital Information Systems, Ambulatory Information System, and Hypertension and Diabetes Registration and Follow-up system), mortality (single cause or multiple causes) and risk factors (routine data collection through surveillance systems and surveys) [17].

The Hospital Information System (SIH-SUS) [17] is a national system that aggregates patient level data on hospital admissions, primary cause of admission, diagnosis, procedures, length of stay and reimbursement by SUS. The system is set up to allow download and tabulation of data at the municipal level. The scope of the system is limited to SUS admissions and does not include any information on admissions covered by private health insurance or paid out-of-pocket. It is estimated that SIH-SUS covers 60% to 70% of all hospital admissions in the country, although with large variations across regions.

As part of the Ambulatory Information System (SIA-SUS) [17] information is collected on so-called ‘highly complex procedures’. This includes data on treatment and exams in the areas of nephrology, cardiology, oncology, orthopaedics, ophthalmology among others. From this dataset it is possible to extract relevant information on screening and management of diabetes and its complications. For example, Georg et al. [59] performed an economic analysis using secondary data from the SIA-SUS (fasting plasma glucose measurement in order to confirm diagnosis of diabetes), aiming to estimate the cost-effectiveness of the screening programme for diabetes mellitus in Brazil.

The registration and follow-up system for hypertension and diabetes (HiperDia) [15] is a computerised system restricted to health system units that register prospective information on patients with hypertension and diabetes who are registered with a health unit or primary health care team. Aggregate data and reports are accessible online. This database includes information on the number of patients with hypertension, types 1 and 2 diabetes, the number of patients who are obese, smokers, physically inactive, as well as those diagnosed with other chronic complications (e.g. dyslipidaemia) [17]. It is estimated that 31.1% of patients with known diabetes in Brazil are registered in the HiperDia System [15]. However, there are concerns about the quality of the data. A recent study identified inaccuracies and contradictions in the information reported, indicating the need for additional training and more specific clinical and laboratory criteria to enhance identification of diabetes and hypertension-related complications [60].

The mortality information system (SIM) collects information on deaths nationwide [61]. The system includes reliable information on age, gender, place of residence and cause of death classified according to the International Classification of Diseases version 10 (ICD-10). Problems of misclassification regarding cause of death and coverage gaps are known in the north and northeast of the country [62]. However, even in these regions, major improvements have been documented in the recent years [17].

VIGITEL is a surveillance system of risk and protective factors for chronic NCDs through telephone interviews [63]. It was launched in 2006 in all capitals of the 26 Brazilian states including the Federal District and has been conducted since then on an annual basis. Each annual survey includes around 2,000 participants from each of the 27 capital cities with results weighted for the availability of land lines in each region.

The National Household Sample Survey (PNAD) provides periodic surveillance data on NCDs nationwide. Reports summarising data by region, by state, and by rural/urban area are accessible online [64]. The three surveys conducted to date provided information on access to and utilisation of health services in 1998, 2003 and 2008. In addition, the 2008 survey also included information on morbidities caused by chronic diseases, including diabetes [65].

The family budget survey (POF) [66] is a household survey measuring consumption, expenses and income of Brazilian families. Previous survey rounds were conducted in 1974/1975, 1987/1988, 1995/1996, 2002/2003 and 2008/2009. The survey provides information on the cost of treating diabetes, which allows for assessment of the disease’s impact on households budgets, for example [46].

The national demographic and health survey (PNDS) is part of the MEASURE DHS project [67], focusing on women of child-bearing age and children under five in Brazil. The PNDS was first conducted in 1986 and subsequently in 1996 and 2006; however, data on the prevalence of diabetes among women and access to medicines were only collected in 2006 [68].

The Brazilian longitudinal study of adult health (ELSA-Brasil) [69, 70] is a multicentre cohort study funded by the Ministry of Health to investigate diabetes and cardiovascular disease (CVD) incidence, risk factors and complications. The baseline evaluation was completed in December 2010 and included 15,105 civil servants aged 35–74 years from six public universities in the northeast, south and southeast regions of Brazil. Annual telephone interviews are conducted to monitor the health status of each participant enrolled in the baseline [69].

Prevalence of diabetes and diabetes-related mortality

In 2012, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimated the prevalence of diabetes in Brazil to be 10.3% [71]. In the next paragraphs we summarise evidence on the prevalence of diabetes and diabetes-related mortality since 1986 across different regions in Brazil.

From 1986 to 1988, a multicentre study on diabetes was conducted in nine Brazilian state capitals, including a sample of 21,847 subjects first screened by fasting capillary glucose (FCG) [21]. The prevalence of diabetes was estimated at 7.6% among subjects aged 30–69 years. A concerning finding was that 46.5% of the cases were undiagnosed. In addition, out of those who were aware of their diabetes condition, 22.3% were not receiving any type of diabetes treatment. The prevalence of diabetes did not vary according to sex, ethnicity and level of education, but increased markedly with age, from 2.7% among those aged 30–39 years to 17.4% among those aged 60–69 years [21].

Since then, several other studies have been conducted with different scopes and methodologies, as summarised in Table 2. Most of the studies presented are based on self-reported diabetes.

Table 2 Studies of the prevalence of diabetes in Brazil 1

Self-reported prevalence of diabetes has been studied on an annual basis in all state capitals since 2006. As shown in Figure 1, within only four years, self-reported prevalence increased from 5.3% in 2006 to 6.3% in 2010. It is not clear whether this increase is due to increased prevalence, increased diagnosis or both.

Figure 1
figure 1

Prevalence of diabetes in Brazil between 2006 and 2010, according to the VIGITEL.

As shown in Figure 2, women were more likely than men to report having diabetes, which may reflect their higher utilisation of medical care and therefore increased likelihood of being diagnosed [63], supporting the argument of increased detection. However, it seems likely that higher incidence of diabetes must also have played a role in increasing the reported prevalence of diabetes, particularly given the parallel increase in the prevalence of obesity epidemics in Brazil [72].

Figure 2
figure 2

Prevalence of diabetes in Brazil by sex and age groups. VIGITEL, 2010.

Franco et al. [73] analysed diabetes-relates deaths in São Paulo, including data from 1975 to 1992. Diabetes was mentioned on the certificate of 13,786 deaths (6.8%), and referred as the underlying cause of 2.6% of all deaths. Diabetes was also reported as an associated cause of deaths whose underlying cause was cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, as well as neoplasia.

Cesse et al. [18] analysed time trends in diabetes-related mortality and found that mortality increased in most state capitals between 1950 to 2000, while the largest proportional variations were observed in Teresina-PI (55.1%), Recife-PE (27%) and Natal (21.7%). This is consistent with the rapid demographic transition seen in Brazil during this period [2] as well as with the increased prevalence of diabetes. Mortality figures underestimate the burden of diabetes, since the underlying cause of death (including diabetes) is not accounted in the final cause of death estimates. Coeli et al. [19] examined 2,974 death certificates of older adults and found that 291 subjects had diabetes as one of the reported causes of death. However, only 150 subjects had diabetes as the underlying cause of death.

Diabetes was estimated to be responsible for 278,778 years of potential life lost for every 100,000 people [17]. Disability adjusted life years (DALYs) due to diabetes and its complications were estimated in the five regions of Brazil [20, 22] – results showed that diabetes was responsible for 5.1% (6.0% among women and 4.4% among men) of the total DALYs in the country.

Diabetes complications

It is estimated that about 7% of patients with diabetes had one or more of the following complications: diabetic foot ulcers, amputation, kidney disease, fundus changes [15]. Detailed information regarding studies on diabetes complication in Brazil is shown in Table 3.

Table 3 Studies on diabetes complications in Brazil

A study of 1,374 patients with diabetes seen in family health units in Recife, Pernambuco state found a 9% prevalence of diabetic foot [40]. Routine screening for diabetic foot is limited by the lack of trained podiatrists and appropriate supplies. With the exception of a few treatment centres, most health services, particularly primary health care, do not perform foot screening for patients at high risk of developing complications [36].

According to the Brazilian Ministry of Health, diabetic retinopathy (DR) is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in Brazil. Asymptomatic in its early stages, retinopathy evolves over time, affecting the majority of patients who have lived with diabetes for more than 20 years [21]. It is estimated that 20 to 40% of patients with type 2 diabetes are affected by DR, based on studies among specific groups and restricted areas [38, 7476]. The narrow focus of these studies and limited geographical coverage make it difficult to estimate the national prevalence.

Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is another common and devastating complication in patients with diabetes, with a slightly lower frequency than retinopathy [31]. Similar to other countries, chronic kidney disease has been an important public health problem in Brazil. It is estimated that at least one third of Brazilians with type 2 diabetes are affected by DN [34, 35].

Data available from the High Complexity Procedures Authorisation Subsystem on Renal Replacement Therapy (APAC/TRS) [17] shows that between 2000 and 2006, 148,284 patients began dialysis treatments (predominantly haemodialysis) in Brazil. The incidence of terminal disease patients starting replacement therapy was estimated to be 119.8/1,000,000 inhabitants/year, varying from 143.6/1,000,000/year in the south of Brazil to 66.3/1,000,000/year in the north of the country [17, 33]. Hypertension was reported as the leading cause of renal disease (22%), followed by diabetes mellitus (13.8%) and glomerulonephritis (7.2%) [17]. Undetermined causes were cited frequently (44.8%), indicating the need to improve the quality of the information recorded. Incidence of terminal disease patients starting dialysis increased in patients over 65 years, most likely related to population aging and greater use of renal replacement therapy among the elderly [33].

A population based study conducted in all 18 dialysis centres located in the metropolitan area of Porto Alegre between July 1995 and October 1996 followed 111 patients with type 2 diabetes for an average period of 3.6 years. The prevalence of DN was 58% and it was the leading cause of renal disease in 61% of all patients in the follow-up period (63%) [32].

Ischaemic heart disease and hypertension are the most frequent cardiovascular diseases in patients with diabetes. In women with diabetes, the protective effects observed for cardiovascular disease in general disappears [31]. In 2004, a cross-sectional study using a sample of 927 patients with type 2 diabetes treated at three medical centres in Rio Grande do Sul observed a prevalence of coronary artery disease, peripheral vascular disease and hypertension of 36%, 33%, and 73% respectively [37].

Regarding neuropathy, it is estimated that the most common form of the disease is distal symmetrical sensory polyneuropathy [15]. In 2007, a cross-sectional study with 340 patients with type 2 diabetes in Passo Fundo (southern Brazil) found a prevalence of 22% of diabetic peripheral neuropathy [39].

Despite the existence of multiple data sources, evidence on the prevalence and incidence of diabetes and its complications at national and regional level is very scarce and originates mainly from surveys. Prevalence data mainly originates from a number of studies that rely on self-reported data, and no study on the incidence of diabetes was found. It seems that there is a missed opportunity to leverage the data available through some of the national databases such as SUS and HiperDia, among others.

Management of diabetes in Brazil: treatment, access, inequality

Evaluation of the health care delivered by SUS is still done infrequently, particularly with regard to chronic diseases. A study carried out by Assunção et al. [41] in 1998/1999 evaluated the structure, process, and outcomes of diabetes treatment in primary health care in Pelotas, in Southern Brazil. Approximately 85% of the physicians in the study reported prescribing a diet plan during their first consultation and 72% prescribed physical activity. In terms of laboratory monitoring of the patients, all physicians requested fasting blood glucose, while only 60% requested glycosylated haemoglobin.

In 2006, the Ministry of Health published primary health care guidelines [31] for the management of diabetes at primary care level. The guidelines provide recommendations on diabetes screening and prevention, diagnosis, initial evaluation and basic treatment. Screening is recommended for asymptomatic individuals at higher risk of diabetes according to the following indicators: age >45 years, BMI > 25 Kg/m2, waist circumference >102 cm for men and >88 cm for women, family history of diabetes, hypertension (>140/90 mmHg), HDL cholesterol <35 mg/dl and/or triglycerides >150 mg/dl. Recommendations on lifestyle changes, pharmacological treatment, prevention and management of acute and chronic outcomes of diabetes are also provided. Similar guidelines are available for hypertension and prevention of CVD at the primary care level.

Some studies using regional samples investigated availability, affordability and access to medicines used for the treatment of diabetes. Pinto et al. [45] analysed medicine prices and availability using WHO/HAI methodology. The study was performed in 2007 in 30 cities in Brazil and found that metformin 500 mg and glibenclamide 5 mg were available in 23% and 93% of public sector facilities respectively.

In contrast, another study [42] carried out in six cities in the south of Brazil found total availability of metformin 500 mg to be 100% in the public sector. In terms of affordability, the study found that both metformin and glibenclamide could cost up to two working days of salary for non-skilled workers to purchase a monthly course treatment. A cross-sectional study [43] evaluating 41 municipalities in South and Northeast Brazil reported that 78.6% of patients with diabetes had access to diabetes medicines. Another study using the same population [44] looked at access to diabetes medicine among the elderly and found that 95.8% had access to medicines, with the majority of medicines provided by SUS (76.7%).

A National Survey on Medicine Access and Utilization (PNAUM) started in 2013 and data collection is ongoing [77]. The aim of this survey is to evaluate the national pharmaceutical policy and whether the policy is achieving its main objective of ensuring high levels of access to medicine for the entire population. It is the first national study exclusively designed to evaluate the result of the current pharmaceutical policy.

The impact of diabetes on family expenses was investigated in a study using data from POF 2002-2003 [46]. This study showed that 1.7% of the population purchased at least one medicine for diabetes. The annual average spending for those who acquired one or more medicines for diabetes care amounted to USD $102.81.

Data from 2004 showed that glycaeted haemoglobin (HbA1c) control (<7.0%) was attained only by 40% of patients with diabetes [51].

Diabetes outcomes indicators

Table 4 identifies indicators on diabetes outcomes available in Brazil. The main sources of data are information systems from the Ministry of Health. Minimal baseline information on each indicator is available.

Table 4 Indicators of diabetes outcomes available in Brazil

Data from 2004 showed that glycaeted haemoglobin (HbA1c) control (<7.0%) was attained only by 40% of patients with diabetes [51]. Further, it is estimated that about 7% of individuals with diabetes had one or more of the following complications: diabetic foot ulcers, amputation, kidney disease, fundus changes [15].

A multicentre study conducted in five countries, including Brazil, identified that no country has reached the standard for HbA1c or blood pressure set by the American Diabetes Association Diabetes Physician Recognition Programme [52]. In 2007, a cross-sectional multicentre study conducted in nine Latin American countries (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, and Venezuela), including a sample of 878 Brazilians aged 18 to 75 years with type 2 diabetes, showed that about 40% of participants had controlled glycosylated haemoglobin (HbA1c <7.0%) [51].

Very few studies have been conducted to evaluate the quality of treatment and to measure differences between SUS and privately insured patients. A retrospective cohort study was carried out in Southern Brazil involving 80 patients treated in a SUS outpatient clinic and 277 patients treated at a private clinic. Patients receiving treatment from SUS generally showed worse metabolic control, although only the values of HbA1c and total cholesterol were statistically different between the two groups [50]. However, due to the small sample size and the regional coverage of this study, these findings are not representative of the whole Brazilian population.

Costs related to diabetes and its complications

In 2008, the World Bank estimated that countries such as Brazil, China, India and Russia lose more than 20 million productive life-years due to NCDs annually [78].

A study across several Latin and Central American and Caribbean countries [79] estimated that in 2000, the total annual costs (direct and indirect) of diabetes in Brazil were USD $22.6 billion. Direct costs included medications, hospitalisations, consultations, and treatment for complications and totalled to US $3.952 billion. This represented a direct cost per capita of US $872. Indirect costs included loss of income by permanent and temporary incapacity as well as premature death, and amounted to USD $18.6 billion. Across all twenty-five Latin American and Caribbean countries included in the analysis, Brazil had the highest estimated indirect and direct costs for diabetes among the countries studied.

Bahia et al. [54] estimated direct and indirect costs of type 2 diabetes using data collected during 1,000 interviews carried out in 2007 in eight Brazilian cities. The total annual cost per patient was USD $2,108, of which 63.3% were direct costs (USD $1,335) and 36.7% indirect costs (USD $773).

McLellan et al. [55] estimated the cost of clinical treatment and hospital expenses to be around USD $710 per patient/year in 2001. This estimate was based on 93 people with diabetes in the city of Piracicaba - São Paulo - hospitalised between March and June 2001, and therefore unlikely to be nationally representative.

Rosa et al. [57] calculated expenses for hospitalisation due to diabetes using national data for the period of 1999–2001. It was estimated that the average cost per hospitalisation resulting in patient death is USD $275.27; in comparison to USD $143.45 when hospitalisation did not result in death [57]. Hospitalisation rates for patients with diabetes have been stable in the past few years, ranging from 65 to 75 per 100,000 inhabitants per year.

Abegunde et al. [53] predicted that losses due to reduced productivity at work and the decreased family income as a result of diabetes, heart disease and stroke would lead to an economic loss amounting to USD $4.18 billion from 2006 to 2015 in low and middle-income countries.

A study using DATASUS data estimated the direct cost of hospitalisation due to diabetes to be USD $362,945,412 in 2000 [58]. Another study [56] simulated a hypothetical cohort including 6.48 million participants with type 2 diabetes, based on estimates from the Brazilian Ministry of Health, hospital budgets and expense records in 2008. The estimated annual total cost of hospitalisation was USD $264 million (converted using 2008 rate of exchange US$1 = R$1.64), while the costs related to amputation totalled USD $128 million [56].

Health policy related to diabetes

In 1987, a multicentre study on the prevalence of diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance was conducted in nine Brazilian capitals among adults aged 30–69. This study indicated that half of the individuals with diabetes were not aware of their health condition [21].

In an attempt to address the high level of unawareness about diabetes, the first national diabetes screening campaign was launched in 2001 and implemented by public health services in Brazil. The target population was SUS users aged 40 years or older. The estimated national coverage of the campaign among the SUS target population was 73% [80]. Twenty million people were screened using capillary glycaemia tests and approximately 3.3 million (16.5%) suspected cases of diabetes were identified [81].

The Primary Health Care Department within the Health Care Secretariat develops measures to control and assess services from the primary health care and provides technical support to states, cities, and the Federal District. The Department organises basic health services including the Family Health Programme (PSF), oral health, hypertension and diabetes (HiperDia), food and nutrition, management and strategies, evaluation and follow-up activities [81].

According to the guidelines from HiperDia, risk prevention and care of patients with diabetes should take place at primary health care level [17]. The Family Health Strategy [5] was introduced in 1994, aiming to reorganise primary health care through the implementation of multi-disciplinary professional teams. These teams are responsible for the follow-up of a defined number of families located in a limited geographical area. The teams work on health promotion actions, prevention, recuperation, rehabilitation, and the maintenance of community health. The strategy aims to rationalise the use of all levels of assistance (primary, secondary and tertiary) and it has produced positive results for the main health indicators in the populations benefitting from the family health teams.

SUS provides essential medicines for diabetes control without additional costs for the system’s users. The free distribution of medicines in Brazil began in 1971, focusing on the poor population [82]. The Brazilian programme Popular Pharmacy was created in 2004 as a partnership between the federal government and states/municipalities aiming at increasing access to low-cost essential medications for the Brazilian population [82]. In 2006, this strategy was expanded to include private pharmacies and drug stores, named “Aqui Tem Farmácia Popular” (Popular Pharmacy is Available Here) [82]. As part of this programme, the Ministry of Health began subsidising 90% of the reference price of 24 medicines for the treatment of hypertension, diabetes, asthma, rhinitis, Parkinson disease, osteoporosis and glaucoma. This programme covers more than 2,500 municipalities and is available to 1.3 million Brazilians in need of medication (patients for whom drugs were prescribed), including 300,000 patients with diabetes [17].

In September 2006, a law was enacted to ensure the free distribution of diabetic medicines and the necessary equipment to monitor capillary glycaemia for all SUS insurees. In 2007, it was established that free medicines would be available to patients with diabetes, although the free distribution was restricted to patients whose treatment was provided by the SUS in primary health care units. In March 2011, the Brazilian government launched a programme called “Saúde Não Tem Preço” (Health has no price), to expand access to medicines for diabetes and hypertension. In this programme, the pharmacies and drugstores linked to the popular pharmacy network started to offer free medicines for the treatment of hypertension and diabetes (glibenclamide, metformin and insulin) in more than 17,500 registered private pharmacies [17]. A month after its launch, more than 3.7 million treatments were distributed, representing an increase of 70% in the distribution of medicines for hypertension and diabetes [17].

Brazil has participated in health promotion campaigns related to diabetes such as World Diabetes Day. The main strategy adopted by the Government to prevent chronic diseases is to control risk factors. Preventive efforts include anti-tobacco programmes, food and health nutrition policies (industry self-regulation code on advertising of food and beverages directed at children, regulation requiring the inclusion of warnings in all forms of advertising for products containing high levels of fat, sugars or salt), school health promotion, and actions to ensure essential medicines are provided in the public sector for hypertension and diabetes [17, 83].

The Health Gym Programme was created in order to promote physical activity and provide free-of-charge spaces and support for living a healthy lifestyle [17]. According to the strategic action plan for coping with chronic diseases in Brazil from 2011 to 2022, the programme’s goal is to reach 4,000 municipalities by 2015 [84].

Actions for the future

Recently the Brazilian Ministry of Health launched the National Strategy for the Prevention and Control of NCDs for the period 2011–2022 [17]. The plan aims to prepare Brazil to confront and prevent the major chronic NCDs in the next ten years.

The Brazilian National Policy on Health Promotion [85] has prioritised drafting regulatory measures aimed at promoting healthy eating to reduce the prevalence of NCDs, with special emphasis on the regulation of food marketing and advertising, encouraging physical activity through gym classes at community levels, and implementing health promotion strategies in schools.

The expansion of pharmaceutical care and the free distribution of more than 15 medications for hypertension and diabetes play an important role in the Brazilian Government’s effort to tackle diabetes. In September 2011, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff attended a general assembly summit at the UN headquarters in New York, contributing to global efforts in confronting the problem of NCDs [6]. The President reported that one of the first measures of her government was to increase access to medicines for poor patients with hypertension and diabetes. According to the President, 5.4 million Brazilians have taken advantage of the programme.


According to the latest IDF estimates, the prevalence of diabetes in Brazil was 10.3% in 2012. However, this national level estimate hides important intra-country variation.

In the last few years, the Brazilian Ministry of Health has invested considerably in surveillance systems on NCDs. As a result, our review identified a number of data sources relevant to the study of diabetes covering morbidity (SIH-SUS HiperDia), mortality (SIM), risk factors (VIGITEL, ELSA), access and utilisation of health care services (PNAD, POF). However, it seems that the country is still not capitalising on available national data to produce the necessary evidence to identify gaps and formulate appropriate policy responses.

Data on diabetes costs are patchy and out-of-date. A multicountry study estimated that the total annual costs (direct and indirect) of diabetes in the country were USD $22.6 billion in 2000, representing a direct cost per capita of US $872. A more recent study estimated the direct and indirect costs of diabetes to be USD $ 2,108 per capita in 2007. There is some evidence on hospitalisation costs but no evidence on the cost of various types of complications.

A number of policies and programmes have been introduced by the Brazilian government in an attempt to improve access to diabetes care and reduce the prevalence of the disease. These include a national diabetes screening campaign in 2001, the Brazilian Popular Pharmacy programme introduced in 2004 and preventive efforts addressing risk factors (regulation of the food industry, promotion of physical activity through the health gym programme and anti-tobacco programmes).

Considering the magnitude of diabetes in Brazil, the Ministry of Health has adopted several strategies to reduce the costs of the disease in the Brazilian population, highlighting the interventions to be taken at the primary health care level. Specific programmes were implemented aimed at managing diabetes. However, some of the gaps include weak evaluation of the SUS in providing good quality care for patients with diabetes and lack of data on inequalities in access to medicines and health care services including annual testing for complications.

In conclusion, Brazil has the capacity to address and respond to NCDs due to the availability of federal, state and local integrated health programmes currently in operation. There is funding available for NCDs treatment, control and prevention, as well as health promotion, surveillance, monitoring and evaluation activities. However, these resources need to be used in the right way to be effective.

Author’s contributions

ADB was the main investigator involved in the acquisition of data and drafting the manuscript. PK coordinated the conception, design and interpretation of data. GVAF participated in the acquisition of data and in drafting the manuscript. AC and CAOT were involved in the acquisition of specific data and drafting part of the manuscript. PCH, MIS and AF revised the manuscript critically for important intellectual content. All authors read and approved the final version of the manuscript to be published.



(Autorização de Internação Hospitalar) - Hospital Admission Authorization Form


(Autorização de Procedimentos de Alta Complexidade) - Authorization for Procedures of High Complexity SUS


(Glomerulonefrite crônica) - Chronic glomerulonephritis


(Doença renal crônica) - Chronic kidney disease


(Departamento de Atenção Básica) - Primary Health Care Department


(Anos de vida ajustados para incapacidade) - Disability adjusted life years


(Banco de Dados do SUS) – SUS Dataset


(Pesquisa de Demografia e Saúde) - Demographic and Health Survey


(Diabetes Mellitus) - Diabetes Mellitus


(Retinopatia Diabética) - Diabetic Retinopathy


(Estudo Longitudinal de Saúde do Adulto) - Adult Health Longitudinal Study


(Estratégia Saúde da Família) - Family Health Strategy


(Produto Interno Bruto) - Gross Domestic Product


(Hipertensão Arterial Sistêmica) - Hypertension


Glycaeted Haemoglobin


(Sistema de cadastramento e acompanhamento de hipertensão e diabetes)– Hypertension and Diabetes Registration and Follow-up System


(Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística) - National Institute of Geography and Statistics


(Doenças crônicas não transmissíveis) - Non-communicable diseases


(Pesquisa Nacional de Amostra de Domicílios) - National Household Sample Survey


(Pesquisa Nacional sobre Acesso, Utilização e Promoção do Uso Racional de Medicamentos no Brasil) - National Research of Medicine Access and Utilization


(Pesquisa Nacional de Demografia e Saúde) - National Demography and Health Survey


(Política Nacional de Promoção da Saúde) - Brazilian National Policy on Health Promotion


(Pesquisa Nacional de Saúde) - National Health Research


(Pesquisa de Orçamentos Familiares) - Family Budget Survey


(Projeto de Expansão e Consolidação Saúde da Família) - Family Health Expansion and Consolidation Project


(Programa Saúde da Família) - Family Health Programme


(Sistema de Assistência Médico-Hospitalar da Previdência Social) - Social Security Medical Assistance System


(Sistema de Informações Ambulatoriais) – Ambulatory Information System


(Sistema de Informações Hospitalares do SUS) - Hospital Information System


(Secretaria de Atenção à Saúde) – Health Care Secretariat


(Sistema de Informação da Atenção Básica) – Primary Health Care Information System


(Sistema de Informação de Mortalidade) - Mortality Information System


(Sistema de Informação do HiperDia) - HiperDia system


(Sistema Único de Saúde) - Unified Health System


(Organização Mundial da Saúde) – World Health Organization


(Agência dos Estados Unidos para o Desenvolvimento Internacional) -


(Vigilância de Fatores de Risco e Proteção para Doenças Crônicas por Inquérito Telefônico) - Surveillance System of Risk and Protective Factors for Chronic Non-Communicable Diseases through Telephone Interviews.


  1. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística - IBGE: Resultados do Universo do Censo Demográfico 2010. 2010, Rio de Janeiro: IBGE

    Google Scholar 

  2. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística: Séries Estatísticas & Séries Históricas. 2011, Rio de Janeiro: IBGE

    Google Scholar 

  3. Lamounier B, Figueiredo R: A era FHC, um balanço. 2002, Cultura Editores Associados: São Paulo

    Google Scholar 

  4. Arretche MTS: Políticas sociais no Brasil: descentralização em um estado federativo. Rev Bras Ciênc Soc. 1999, 14: 111-141. 10.1590/S0102-69091999000200009.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Paim J, Travassos C, Almeida C, Bahia L, Macinko J: The Brazilian health system: history, advances, and challenges. The Lancet. 2011, 377: 1778-1797. 10.1016/S0140-6736(11)60054-8.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Despesas com ações e serviços públicos de saúde financiadas por recursos próprios -. 2000,, a 2006

    Google Scholar 

  7. World Health Organization: WHO global health expenditure atlas. 2012, Geneva: WHO Press

    Google Scholar 

  8. Diniz BPC, Silveira FG, Bertasso BF, Magalhães LCG, Servo LMS: As pesquisas de orçamento familiar brasileiras. Gasto e consumo das famílias brasileiras contemporâneas. Edited by: Silveira FG, Servo LMS, Menezes T, Piola SF. 2007, Brasília: IPEA

    Google Scholar 

  9. Xu K, Evans DB, Kawabata K, Zeramdini R, Klavus J, Murray CJL: Household catastrophic health expenditure: a multicountry analysis. The Lancet. 2003, 362: 111-116. 10.1016/S0140-6736(03)13861-5.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Barros AJD, Bastos JL, Bertoldi AD: Catastrophic spending on health care in Brazil: private health insurance does not seem to be the solution. Cad Saúde Pública. 2011, 27: s254-s262.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Barros AJD, Bertoldi AD: Out-of-pocket health expenditure in a population covered by the Family Health Program in Brazil. Int J Epidemiol. 2008, 1: 1-2.

    Google Scholar 

  12. Kac G, Velásques-Meléndez G: The nutritional transition and the epidemiology of obesity in Latin America. Cad Saúde Pública. 2003, 19: S4-S5.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Sartorelli DS, Franco LJ: Trends in diabetes mellitus in Brazil: the role of the nutritional transition. Cad Saúde Pública. 2003, 19: S29-S36.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. World Health Organization: NCD Country Profiles. 2011, Geneva: WHO Press

    Google Scholar 

  15. Relatório de indicadores da situação de agravos.

  16. Rosa RS: Diabetes mellitus: magnitude das hospitalizações na rede pública do Brasil, 1999–2001. Epidemiol Serv Saude. 2008, 17: 131-134.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Plano de ações estratégicas para o enfrentamento das doenças crônicas não transmissíveis (DCNT) no Brasil 2011–2022. 2011, Brasília: Ministério da Saúde

    Google Scholar 

  18. Cesse EÂP, Carvalho EF, Souza WV, Luna CF: Mortality trends by the diabetes mellitus in Brazil: 1950 to 2000. Arq Bras Endocrinol Metab. 2009, 53: 760-766.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Coeli CM, Ferreira LGFD, Drbal MM, Veras RP, Camargo-Jr KR, Cascão ÂM: Diabetes mellitus mortality among elderly as an underlying or secondary cause of death. Revista de saude publica. 2002, 36: 135-140.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  20. Escola Nacional de Saúde Pública/Fundação Oswaldo Cruz/FENSPTEC: Estimativa da carga de doença do Brasil - 1998 - Relatório final. 2002, Rio de Janeiro: ENSP/FIOCRUZ/FENSPTEC

    Google Scholar 

  21. Malerbi DA, Franco LJ, : Multicenter study of the prevalence of diabetes mellitus and impaired glucose tolerance in the urban Brazilian population aged 30–69 yr. Diabetes Care. 1992, 15: 1509-1516.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  22. Schramm JMA, Oliveira AF, Leite IC, Valente JG, Gadelha ÂMJ, Portela MC, Campos MR: Epidemiological transition and the study of burden of disease in Brazil. Ciên Saúde Colet. 2004, 9: 897-908.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Bosi PL, Carvalho AM, Contrera D, Casale G, Pereira MA, Gronner MF, Diogo TM, Torquarto MTCG, Oishi J, Leal AMO: Prevalence of diabetes and impaired glucose tolerance in the urban population of 30 to 79 years of the city of São Carlos, São Paulo. Arq Bras Endocrinol Metab. 2009, 53: 726-732. 10.1590/S0004-27302009000600006.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. da Costa JS D, Olinto MT, Assuncao MC, Gigante DP, Macedo S, Menezes AM: Prevalence of Diabetes Mellitus in Southern Brazil: a population-based study. Revista de saude publica. 2006, 40: 542-545.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  25. Goldenberg P, Franco LJ, Pagliaro H, Silva R, Santos CA: Self-reported diabetes mellitus in the city of Sao Paulo: prevalence and inequality. Cad Saúde Pública. 1996, 12: 37-45.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  26. Mendes TAB, Goldbaum M, Segri NJ, Barros MBA, Cesar CLG, Carandina L, Alves MCGP: Diabetes mellitus: factors associated with prevalence in the elderly, control measures and practices, and health services utilization in São Paulo, Brazil. Cad Saúde Pública. 2011, 27: 1233-1243. 10.1590/S0102-311X2011000600020.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Passos VM, Barreto SM, Diniz LM: MF MFL-C: Type 2 diabetes: prevalence and associated factors in a Brazilian community–the Bambui health and aging study. Sao Paulo Medical Journal. 2005, 123: 66-71.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  28. Schmidt MI, Duncan BB, Hoffmann JF, Moura L, Malta DC, Carvalho RM: Prevalence of diabetes and hypertension based on self-reported morbidity survey, Brazil, 2006. Revista de saude publica. 2009, 43 (Suppl 2): 74-82.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  29. Souza LJ, Chalita FEB, Reis AFF, Teixeira CL, Neto CG, Bastos DA, Filho JTDS, Souza TF, Côrtes VA: Prevalência de Diabetes Mellitus e Fatores de Risco em Campos dos Goytacazes, RJ. Arq Bras Endocrinol Metab. 2003, 47: 69-74.

    Google Scholar 

  30. Torquato M, Montenegro-Junior RM, Viana LA, Souza RA, Lanna CM, Lucas JC, Bidurin C, Foss MC: Prevalence of diabetes mellitus and impaired glucose tolerance in the urban population aged 30–69 years in Ribeirao Preto (Sao Paulo), Brazil. Sao Paulo Medical J. 2003, 121: 224-230.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Brasil. Ministério da Saúde. Secretaria de Atenção à Saúde. Departamento de Atenção Básica: Diabetes Mellitus. 2006, Brasília: Ministério da Saúde

    Google Scholar 

  32. Bruno RM, Gross JL: Prognostic factors in Brazilian diabetic patients starting dialysis: a 3.6-year follow-up study. J Diabetes Complications. 2000, 14: 266-271.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  33. Ld M, Schmidt MI, Duncan BB, RdS R, Malta DC, Stevens A, Thomé FS: Monitoramento da doença renal terminal pelo subsistema de Autorização de Procedimenos de Alta Complexidade – Apac – in Brazil, 2000–2006. Epidemiol Serv Saúde. 2009, 18: 121-131.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Murussi M, Baglio P, Gross JL, Silveiro SP: Risk factors for microalbuminuria and macroalbuminuria in type 2 diabetic patients: a 9-year follow-up study. Diabetes Care. 2002, 25: 1101-1103.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  35. Murussi M, Coester A, Gross JL, Silveiro SP: Nefropatia diabética no diabete melito tipo 2: fatores de risco e prevenção. Arq Bras Endocrinol Metab. 2003, 47: 207-219. 10.1590/S0004-27302003000300003.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Parisi MCR, Giannella D, Fernandes TD, Rezende KF, Nery M: Diabetic foot screening: study of a 3, 000 times cheaper instrument. Clinics. 2011, 66: 1105-1107.

    Article  PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  37. Scheffel RS, Bortolanza D, Weber CS, Costa LA, Canani LH, Santos KG, Crispim D, Roisenberg I, Lisbôa HRK, Tres GS: Prevalência de complicações micro e macrovasculares e de seus fatores de risco em pacientes com diabetes melito do tipo 2 em atendimento ambulatorial. Rev Assoc Med Bras. 2004, 50: 263-267.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  38. Schellini SA, Moraes-Silva MRB, Moraes-Silva MA: Diabetes, retinopatia diabética e cegueira. J Bras Med. 1994, 67: 171-174.

    Google Scholar 

  39. Tres GS, Lisbôa HRK, Syllos R, Canani LH, Gross JL: Prevalência e características da polineuropatia diabética em Passo Fundo, sul do Brasil. Arq Bras Endocrinol Metab. 2007, 51: 987-992. 10.1590/S0004-27302007000600014.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Vieira-Santos ICR, Souza WV, Carvalho EF, Medeiros MCWC, Nóbrega MGL, Lima PMS: Prevalência de pé diabético e fatores associados nas unidades de saúde da família da cidade do Recife, Pernambuco, Brasil, em 2005. Cad Saúde Pública. 2008, 24: 2861-2870. 10.1590/S0102-311X2008001200015.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  41. Assunção MCF, Santos MCF, Gigante DP: Diabetes mellitus at the primary health care level in Southern Brazil: structure, course of action and outcome. Revista de saude publica. 2001, 35: 88-95.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  42. Helfer AP: Capacidade de pagamento, preço e disponibilidade de medicamentos em municípios do Rio Grande do Sul. Master's dissertation. 2010, São Leopoldo-RS: Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos (Unisinos)

    Google Scholar 

  43. Paniz VMV, Fassa AG, Facchini LA, Bertoldi AD, Piccini RX, Tomasi E, Thumé E, Silveira DS, Siqueira FV, Rodrigues MA: Access to continuous-use medication among adults and the elderly in South and Northeast Brazil. Cad Saúde Pública. 2008, 24: 267-280. 10.1590/S0102-311X2008000200005.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  44. Paniz VMV, Fassa AG, Facchini LA, Piccini RX, Tomasi E, Thumé E, Silveira DS, Rodrigues MA, Domingues MR, Bertoldi AD: Free access to hypertension and diabetes medicines among the elderly: a reality yet to be constructed. Cad Saúde Pública. 2010, 26: 1163-1174. 10.1590/S0102-311X2010000600010.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  45. Pinto CDBS, Miranda ES, Emmerick ICM, Costa NR, Castro CGSO: Medicine prices and availability in the Brazilian Popular Pharmacy Program. Revista de saude publica. 2010, 44: 611-619.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Zaccolo AV: Análise dos gastos familiares com medicamentos e correlatos para o tratamento do diabetes na população brasileira. Master's dissertation. 2009, Porto Alegre-RS: Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS)

    Google Scholar 

  47. Costa LA, Weber C, Bortolanza D, Schaeffel R, Canani LHS, Gross JL: Aggregation of features of metabolic syndrome increases the proportion of diabetic complications in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Diabetologia. 2002, 45: A15-

    Google Scholar 

  48. Gall MA, Rossing P, Skott P, Damsbo P, Vaag A, Bech K: Prevalence of micro- and macroalbuminuria, arterial hypertension, retinopathy, and large vessel disease in European type 2 (non-insulin dependent) diabetic patients. Diabetologia. 1991, 34: 655-661.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  49. Malerbi DA, Franco LJ: Multicenter study of the prevalence of diabetes mellitus and impaired glucose tolerance in the urban Brazilian population aged 30–69 yr. The Brazilian Cooperative Group on the Study of Diabetes Prevalence. Diabetes Care. 1992, 15: 1509-1516.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  50. Panarotto D, Trasel Hde A, Oliveira MS, Gravina LB, Teles AR: Glycemic control in type 2 diabetic patients in public and private healthcare service. Arq Bras Endocrinol Metabol. 2009, 53: 733-740.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  51. Stewart GL, Tambascia M, Guzmán JR, Etchegoyen F, Carrión JO, Artemenko S: Control of type 2 diabetes mellitus among general practitioners in private practice in nine countries of Latin America. Pan Am J Public Health. 2007, 22: 12-20.

    Google Scholar 

  52. Strock ES, Mazze RS: Quality of diabetes care in India, China, Brazil, Mexico and Russia. Pract Diab Int. 2009, 26: 195-200i. 10.1002/pdi.1371.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Abegunde DO, Mathers CD, Adam T, Ortegon M, Strong K: The burden and costs of chronic diseases in low-income and middle-income countries. The Lancet. 2007, 370: 1929-1938. 10.1016/S0140-6736(07)61696-1.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  54. Bahia LR, Araujo DV, Schaan BD, Dib SA, Negrato CA, Leão MPS, Ramos AJS, Forti AC, Gomes MB, Foss MC: The costs of ype 2 diabetes mellitus outpatient care in the Brazilian public health system. Value Health. 2011, 14: S137-S140.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  55. McLellan KCP, Motta DG, Lerario AC, Campino ACC: Ambulatory and Hospital Care Cost of type 2 Diabetes mellitus. Saúde Rev. 2006, 8: 37-45.

    Google Scholar 

  56. Rezende KF, Ferraz MB, Malerbi DA, Melo NH, Nunes MP, Pedrosa HC, Chacra AR: Predicted annual costs for inpatients with diabetes and foot ulcers in a developing country—a simulation of the current situation in Brazil. Diabet Med. 2010, 27: 109-112.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  57. Rosa RS, Schmidt MI, Duncan BB, Souza MFM, Lima AK, Moura L: Hospitalization for Diabetes Mellitus as the first-listed diagnosis in the Brazilian National Health System (SUS), 1999–2001. Rev Bras Epidemiol. 2007, 10: 465-478.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  58. Rosa RS, Schmidt MI, Duncan BB, Souza MFM, Lima AK, Moura L: Estimativa do impacto econômico associado ao diabetes mellitus no Brasil para o ano de. 2000,

    Google Scholar 

  59. Georg AE, Duncan BB, Toscano CM, Schmidt MI, Mengue S, Duarte C, Polanczyk CA: Grupo de Trabalho de Avaliacao da Campanha Nacional de Deteccao de Diabetes M: Economic analysis of a screening program for diabetes mellitus in Brazil. Revista de saude publica. 2005, 39: 452-460.

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  60. Jardim ADI, Leal AMO: Quality of information on diabetic and hypertensive patients from the HIPERDIA system in the city of São Carlos, São Paulo State, 2002–2005. Physis. 2009, 19: 405-417. 10.1590/S0103-73312009000200009.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  61. Brasil. Ministério da Saúde: Manual de procedimento do sistema de informações sobre mortalidade. 2001, Brasília: Ministério da Saúde

    Google Scholar 

  62. Brasil. Ministério da Saúde: Saúde Brasil 2004: uma análise da situação de saúde. 2004, Brasília-DF: Ministério da Saúde

    Google Scholar 

  63. Brasil. Ministério da Saúde. Secretaria de Vigilância em Saúde. Secretaria de Gestão Estratégica e Participativa: Vigitel Brasil 2010: vigilância de fatores de risco e proteção para doenças crônicas por inquérito telefônico. 2011, Brasília: Ministério da Saúde

    Google Scholar 

  64. Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicílios.

  65. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística: Pesquisa Nacional por Amostra de Domicílios. 2009, Rio de Janeiro: IBGE

    Google Scholar 

  66. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística: Pesquisa de orçamentos familiares 2008–2009: despesas, rendimentos e condições de vida. 2010, Rio de Janeiro: IBGE

    Google Scholar 

  67. Measure DHS - Demographic and Health Surveys.

  68. Brasil. Ministério da Saúde: Pesquisa Nacional de Demografia e Saúde da Criança e da Mulher PNDS 2006. 2009, Brasília: Ministério da Saúde

    Google Scholar 

  69. Brasil. Departamento de Ciência e Tecnologia, Secretaria de Ciência, Tecnologia e Insumos Estratégicos, Ministério da Saúde: ELSA Brasil: maior estudo epidemiológico da América Latina. Revista de saude publica. 2009, 43 (1): 1-2. 10.1590/S0034-89102009000100001.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  70. Projeto ELSA.

  71. IDF diabetes atlas update. 2012,

  72. Schmidt MI, Duncan BB, Silva GA, Menezes AM, Monteiro CA, Barreto SM, Chor D, Menezes PR: Doenças crônicas não transmissíveis no Brasil: carga e desafios atuais. The Lancet. 2011, 377: 1949-1961. 10.1016/S0140-6736(11)60135-9.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  73. Franco LJ, Mameri C, Pagliaro H, Iochida LC, Goldenberg P: Diabetes as underlying or associated cause of death in the State of S. Paulo, 1992. Rev saúde pública. 1998, 32: 237-245.

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  74. Rosales C: Retinopatía diabética en el paciente diabético tipo 2. Revista de la Asociación Latinoamericana de Diabetes. 1998, 2: 105-

    Google Scholar 

  75. Foss MC, Paccola MGF, Souza NV, Iazigi N: Estudo analítico de uma amostra populacional de diabéticos tipo II da região de Ribeirão Preto (SP). AMB Rev Assoc Med Bras. 1989, 35: 179-183.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  76. Escarião PHG, Arantes TEF, Filho NCF, Urtiga RD, Florêncio TLT, Arcoverde ALAL: Epidemiologia e diferenças regionais da retinopatia diabética em Pernambuco, Brasil. Arquivos Brasileiros de Oftalmologia. 2008, 71: 172-175.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  77. Pesquisa Nacional sobre Acesso, Utilização e Promoção do Uso Racional de Medicamentos no Brasil (PNAUM).

  78. World Economic Forum: Working Towards Wellness: The Business Rationale. 2008, Geneva: World Economic Forum

    Google Scholar 

  79. Barcelo A, Aedo C, Rajpathak S, Robles S: The cost of diabetes in Latin America and the Caribbean. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 2003, 81: 19-27.

    PubMed Central  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  80. Brasil. Ministério da Saúde: Avaliação do plano de reorganização da atenção à hipertensão arterial e ao diabetes mellitus no Brasil. 2004, Brasília: Ministério da Saúde

    Google Scholar 

  81. Portal da saúde.

  82. Brasil. Conselho Nacional de Secretários de Saúde: Assistência Farmacêutica no SUS. 2011, Brasília: CONASS

    Google Scholar 

  83. Pan American Health Organization: Recommendations from a Pan American Health Organization Expert Consultation on the Marketing of Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages to Children in the Americas. 2011, Washington, D.C.: PAHO

    Google Scholar 

  84. Malta DC, Neto OLM, JunioR JBS: Presentation of the strategic action plan for coping with chronic diseases in Brazil from 2011 to 2022. Epidemiol Serv Saúde. 2011, 20: 425-438. 10.5123/S1679-49742011000400002.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  85. Brasil. Ministério da Saúde. Secretaria de Vigilância em Saúde: Política Nacional de Promoção da Saúde. 2006, Brasília: Ministério da Saúde

    Google Scholar 

Download references


This project was supported by an unrestricted educational grant from NovoNordisk Switzerland. The authors would like to thank Ms Marsha Fu and Ms Danica Kwong for their editorial assistance.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Andréa D Bertoldi.

Additional information

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests. The funding to conduct this study was provided by Novo Nordisk Switzerland. The sponsor had no involvement in the study design, data collection and analysis, and writing. AF received travel reimbursement and speaker fees from Novo Nordisk for delivering two presentations on diabetes in EU5 (France, Germany, Italy, Spain and UK) at national diabetes conferences in Portugal and Spain.

Authors’ original submitted files for images

Below are the links to the authors’ original submitted files for images.

Authors’ original file for figure 1

Authors’ original file for figure 2

Rights and permissions

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Bertoldi, A.D., Kanavos, P., França, G.V.A. et al. Epidemiology, management, complications and costs associated with type 2 diabetes in Brazil: a comprehensive literature review. Global Health 9, 62 (2013).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • DOI: