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Eur J Public Health. 2007 Dec;17(6):585-6. Epub 2007 Apr 30.

Increasing social inequality in life expectancy in Denmark.

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  • 1National Institute of Public Health, Øster Farimagsgade 5A, 1399 Copenhagen, Denmark. hbh@niph.dk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The purpose of the study was to determine trends in social inequality in mortality and life expectancy in Denmark.

METHODS:

The study was based on register data on educational level and mortality during the period 1981-2005 and comprised all deaths among Danes aged 30-60. Sex- and age-specific death rates for each of three levels of education were calculated and age-standardized to allow comparisons over time and between groups. As data obtained since 1996 included ages up to 74, partial life expectancy (i.e. expected lifetime of 30-year-olds before the age of 75) was calculated for the period 1996-2005.

RESULTS:

Between 1981 and 2005, the difference in death rates between people aged 30-60 with low and high educational level increased by two-thirds for men and was doubled for women. During the period 1996-2005, the gap in partial life expectancy from age 30 to 75 between people with low and high educational level increased by 0.3 years.

CONCLUSION:

During the past 25 years, the social gap in mortality has widened in Denmark. In particular, women with a low educational level have been left behind.

PMID:
17470463
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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