Health, disease, and mortality processes are occurring in Latin America as a result of many political, cultural, social, economic, demographic, structural, and institutional environment transformations over the past 60 years. In fact, despite rapid growth in life expectancy from 1930 onwards, infant mortality rates in Latin America began to fall steadily only from the 1940s, and accelerated in the 1970s. Historically, the national and global economy oscillates in cycles of growth and recession with varying duration between them. Since 2008, the global economy has experienced a severe crisis of the capitalist system. Impacts of this crisis are notable in many areas of the financial market, affecting many aspects of life, including public health indicators. Some recent analysis have described that, in a context of instability of social protection institutions and economic crisis, there is a certain increase in mortality rates among middle-aged whites and especially among high-school and under-educated whites, mainly attributable to drug overdoses, suicides, and alcohol-related liver disease. Indeed, it is possible that social and economic circumstances may be the main contributors to the increase observed in this group of causes. Therefore, there is a relationship between an unfavorable economic environment and selective death by certain conditions, and there seems to be an important differential with respect to elementary characteristics of demographic composition, such as age, gender and race. Thus, this research aimed to evaluate the impact of the economic crisis and fiscal austerity measures on the death of despair in Brazil.
Raphael Guimarães´s research focuses on demography and health, specially on how inequality and poverty are associated to population dynamics and health outcomes. He recevied a DSc in Public Health from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), is concluding a PhD in demography at University of Campinas (UNICAMP), received a Master´s in Population Studies from the National School of Statistics (ENCE/IBGE) and a Master´s in Public Health from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). He is an associate researcher from Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Brazil.