Insight into stagnating adult life expectancy: Analyzing cause of death patterns across socioeconomic groups

Health Econ. 2020 Dec;29(12):1728-1743. doi: 10.1002/hec.4166. Epub 2020 Sep 24.

Abstract

This study analyzes the complexity of female longevity improvements. As socioeconomic status is found to influence health and mortality, we partition all individuals, at each age in every year, into five socioeconomic groups based on an affluence measure that combine an individual's income and wealth. We identify the particular socioeconomic groups that have been driving the standstill for Danish females at older ages. Within each socioeconomic group, we further analyze the cause of death patterns. The decline in life expectancy for Danish females is present for four out of five subgroups, however, with particular large decreases for the low-middle and middle-affluence groups. Cancers, smoking-related lung and bronchus causes, and other diseases particularly contribute to the stagnation. For four of the five socioeconomic groups only small cardiovascular improvement are experienced during the period of stagnating life expectancy compared to an equally long and subsequent period.

Keywords: affluence groups; cause of death; health inequality; mortality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't