Increased socioeconomic differences in mortality in eight Spanish provinces

Soc Sci Med. 1995 Sep;41(6):801-7. doi: 10.1016/0277-9536(94)00402-f.


In Spain, the study of socioeconomic differences in mortality has been limited by the fact that death certificates often do not include complete information on occupation. In this study, we chose those geographic areas with the highest quality information on occupation of the deceased in order to study socioeconomic differences in mortality from various causes of death. We used information from the death certificates of males who died between 30 and 64 years of age in eight Spanish provinces to compare mortality from the leading causes of death in professionals and managers (group I) and in manual laborers (group II) in 1980-82 and 1988-90. In each period the standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were higher in group II, except for ischaemic heart disease during the first period, and cancer of the colon and rectum in both, although in the latter case the differences were not statistically significant. The ratio between the SMR from all causes in group II and group I was 1.27 in 1980-82, and 1.72 in 1988-90; for cancer of the colon and rectum the ratio went from 0.98 to 0.84, and for ischaemic heart disease, from 0.80 to 1.31. Except for cancer of the colon and rectum, which resulted in higher mortality in occupational group I, the excess mortality in occupational group II increased between the first and second period. The relation between socioeconomic level and mortality for ischaemic heart disease was reversed, a phenomenon similar to that which took place in the 1960s and 1970s in the developed countries.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cause of Death*
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality*
  • Occupations
  • Socioeconomic Factors*
  • Spain / epidemiology