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Am J Public Health. 2010 May;100(5):896-903. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.160341. Epub 2010 Mar 18.

Understanding the rapid increase in life expectancy in South Korea.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics, and Occupational Health, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

We assessed life expectancy increases in the past several decades in South Korea by age and specific causes of death.

METHODS:

We applied Arriaga's decomposition method to life table data (1970-2005) and mortality statistics (1983-2005) to estimate age- and cause-specific contributions to changes in life expectancy.

RESULTS:

Reductions in infant mortality made the largest age-group contribution to the life expectancy increase. Reductions in cardiovascular diseases (particularly stroke and hypertensive diseases) contributed most to longer life expectancy between 1983 and 2005 (30% in males and 28% in females). Lower rates of stomach cancer, liver disease, tuberculosis, and external-cause mortality accounted for 30% of the male and 20% of the female increase in longevity. However, higher mortality from ischemic heart disease, lung and bronchial cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer, diabetes, and suicide offset gains by 10% in both genders.

CONCLUSIONS:

Rapid increases in life expectancy in South Korea were mostly achieved by reductions in infant mortality and in diseases related to infections and blood pressure.

PMID:
20299661
PMCID:
PMC2853609
DOI:
10.2105/AJPH.2009.160341
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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