Social inequalities in limitations caused by chronic diseases and disabilities in Brazil: the 2013 National Health Survey

Abstract This paper aims to evaluate the association between social inequalities and self-reported limitations for the performance of daily activities caused by chronic diseases or disabilities. The 2013 National Health Survey evaluated a sample of Brazilians with 18+ years. The outcome was that individuals reported that their daily activities were moderately, severely or very severely limited (LIMIT) by one or more chronic diseases, or mental, physical, hearing or motor impairment. The main exposure was the economy class, classified into five categories, ranging from A (richest) to E (poorest). We estimated a logistic regression model adjusted for economy class and confounding variables, considering the complex sample design and alpha = 5%. Around 15.5% of individuals reported having Limit. Comparing social classes, 19.5%, 21.9%, 16.1%, 11.1%, and 7.7% individuals belonging to class E, D, C, B and A reported the outcome. The adjusted model showed greater odds of individuals in class D + E, and D, reporting LIMIT than individuals of class A + B (reference). Public policies for health care and social welfare for people with disabilities should focus on social classes E and D.