To compare hospital mortality rates (HMR) due to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) associated with COVID-19 recorded in metropolitan areas and other regions (interior) of Brazil in 2020 and 2021.
This ecological study used public data available on OpenDataSUS. The information was accessed in May 2022. The following variables were considered: age, sex, hospitalization, presence of a risk factor, ICU stay, use of ventilatory support, and final classification in the individual registration form of SARS cases due to COVID-19. Cases and deaths were stratified into five age groups (0-19 years, 20-39 years, 40-59 years, 60-79 years, and ≥80 years) and by place of residence (metropolitan area or interior). The HMR had as numerator the absolute number of deaths by SARS associated with COVID-19; and, as a denominator, the absolute number of cases of SARS due to covid-19 according to the year of occurrence, area of residence, age bracket, sex, hospitalization, presence of a risk factor, ICU admission, and use of ventilatory support.
There was a significant increase in HMR due to SARS associated with COVID-19 in 2021 in all age groups, except 0-19 years and ≥80 years, as well as among individuals admitted to an ICU and who used invasive ventilatory support, both in metropolitan areas as well as in the interior.
There was a worsening of the epidemiological scenario in 2021 with an increase in HMR. However, no differences were identified between the metropolitan regions and the interior of the country.