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Physical inactivity of adults and 1-year health care expenditures in Brazil



To analyze the association between physical inactivity in different domains and direct public healthcare expenditures in adults and to identify whether the clustering of physical inactivity in different domains would contribute to increased public healthcare.


The sample composed of 963 adults randomly selected in a middle-size Brazilian city. Annual healthcare expenditure was estimated including all items registered in the medical records in the last 12 months prior to the interview. Habitual physical activity was estimated using Baecke questionnaire, which considers three components of physical activity (work, sports and leisure-time activities).


Higher healthcare expenditures of medicines were associated with lower physical activity at work (OR 1.58 [1.06–2.35]), sport (OR 1.57 [1.12–2.18]) and physical inactivity in three domains (OR 2.12 [1.18–3.78]). Expenditures related to medicine (r = 0.109 [95 % CI 0.046–0.171]) and overall expenditures (r = 0.092 [95 % CI 0.029–0.155]) were related to physical inactivity, independently of age, sex, smoking, blood pressure and obesity.


Physically inactive subjects in different domains of physical activity have increased likelihood to be inserted at groups of higher healthcare expenditure.

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The development of this work was partially supported by Brazilian Government through a PhD scholarship from CAPES and by the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology (CNPq) Projects no: 457448/2013-0, Project no: 401178/2013-7 and Project no: 476244/2013-7.

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Correspondence to Jamile Sanches Codogno.

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Codogno, J.S., Turi, B.C., Kemper, H.C.G. et al. Physical inactivity of adults and 1-year health care expenditures in Brazil. Int J Public Health 60, 309–316 (2015).

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  • Cost control
  • Motor activity
  • Health expenditures
  • Public health
  • Adults