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Asia Pac J Public Health. 2011 Jan;23(1):10-23. doi: 10.1177/1010539510390673.

Mortality trends and the epidemiological transition in Nauru.

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  • 1University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.


This article aims to examine the epidemiological transition in Nauru through analysis of available mortality data. Mortality data from death certificates and published material were used to construct life tables and calculate age-standardized mortality rates (from 1960) with 95% confidence intervals. Proportional mortality was calculated from 1947. Female life expectancy (LE) varied from 57 to 61 years with no significant trend. Age-standardized mortality for males (15-64 years) doubled from 1960-1970 to 1976-1981 and then decreased to 1986-1992, with LE fluctuating since then from 49 to 54 years. Proportional mortality from cardiovascular disease and diabetes increased substantially, reaching more than 30%. Nauru demonstrates a very long period of stagnation in life expectancy in both males and females as a consequence of the epidemiological transition, with major chronic disease mortality in adults showing no sustained downward trends over 40 years. Potential overinterpretation of trends from previous data due to lack of confidence intervals was highlighted.

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