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The impact of the major causes of death on life expectancy in China: a 60-year longitudinal study.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

In the 12th Five-Year Plan, the Chinese government set the goal of increasing life expectancy by one year. The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of major causes of death on the life expectancy of the Chinese people between 1950 and 2010 and predict changing trends to identify major issues requiring future attention.

METHODS

A continuous database organised by population and death data on diseases by age group between 1950 and 2010 were created from A Province in Eastern China. The diseases were classified into four categories by the International Classification of Diseases-10 (ICD-10): infectious and parasitic diseases, chronic diseases, accidental injuries, and maternal diseases. Potential gains in life expectancy (PGLEs) were applied to reflect the impact on life expectancy caused by deaths from various diseases, by using the cause-eliminated life table.

RESULTS

The PGLEs of infectious and parasitic diseases decreased from 15.59 years in 1950, to 0.07 year in 2010, and have remained low since 2000. However, the PGLEs of chronic diseases increased from 8.70 years in 1950, to 13.36 years in 2010, and indicated an increasing future trend. The two opposite trends exhibited a 'scissors-like difference'. The proportion of accidental injuries and maternal diseases in the death spectrum was low. The PGLEs of accidental injuries decreased from 2.95 years in 1950, to 0.86 year in 2010, maintaining a low level, while the PGLEs of maternal diseases dropped from 0.56 to 0.002 year during the same period, approaching zero.

CONCLUSIONS

The findings of this study provide useful information, which could contribute to a more effective allocation of public health programmes. In recent years, chronic diseases and accidental injuries have emerged as major factors influencing life expectancy. Primary and secondary prevention actions, such as public education, modification of behaviours, and introduction of safety measures should be emphasised in efforts to promote life expectancy. The morbidity and mortality rates of infectious, parasitic, and maternal diseases should be maintained at low levels.

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  • Authors+Show Affiliations

    , , , , , , , , , ,

    Research Institute of Health Development Strategies, Fudan University, Shanghai 200032, China. haomo03@fudan.edu.cn.

    Source

    BMC public health 14: 2014 pg 1193

    MeSH

    Adolescent
    Adult
    Aged
    Aged, 80 and over
    Cause of Death
    Child
    Child, Preschool
    China
    Communicable Diseases
    Female
    Humans
    Infant
    Infant, Newborn
    Life Expectancy
    Longitudinal Studies
    Male
    Maternal Mortality
    Middle Aged
    Pregnancy
    Wounds and Injuries

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    25413667