Low socio-economic status is associated with high mortality rates and some specific cause of death.
Evaluate the mortality profile of a low income breast cancer screening cohort.
Women aged over 15 years were recruited between 2004 and 2006 to participate in a breast cancer screening cohort and answer a risk factor inventory. Women 40-69 years old were invited annually to do a clinical breast examination and a mammography. Death causes were obtained from the Information Mortality System of Brazil (ICD-10).
From 9.176 women recruited, 360 died (3.9%). The main causes of mortality were related to circulatory system (33.1%), neoplasms (25%), infectious and parasitic diseases (12.2%), respiratory (9.7%) and endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases (6.9%), and external causes (3.6%). Lung was the main neoplasms (17.8%), followed by breast, colon and cervical cancer, each one with 7.8%.
Half of women died between 50 and 69 years, but 10% died with less than 40 years. The main cause of mortality varies by age: infectious and parasitic diseases are the cause in women less than 40; circulatory system is the main cause in older one. The youngest has higher incidence of mortality by external causes (53.8%).
Fifteen women with breast cancer diagnoses died. Eight were due to breast cancer. The mean age of death was higher (p=0.003) in women diagnosed with breast cancer (69.7; SD 12.7) than the total cohort population (57.6; SD 14.5).
The mortality pattern reflects the social vulnerability of the cohort, that have low educational level and high prevalence of smoking (32%). Unlike the general population, women in the cohort died at younger ages, have higher rates of mortality by lung cancer and external causes. The low mortality of breast cancer can be due to the short interval between diagnosis and treatment in the cohort.