Mortality inequality among older adults in Mexico: the combined role of infectious and chronic diseases

César González-González, Rafael Samper-Ternent, Rebeca Wong, and Alberto Palloni
Rev. Panam Salud Publica.
Published online: 2014

Abstract / Resumen:

Objective. To assess the effects of education and chronic and/or infectious disease, and the interaction between both variables, on the risk of dying among Mexicans 60 years and older. Methods. Using data from the Mexican Health and Aging Study (MHAS), logistic re- gressions were performed to estimate the risk of mortality for older Mexicans between 2001 and 2003. Estimated mortality risks associated with chronic disease, infectious disease, and a combination of both were used to estimate additional life expectancy at age 60. Results. Compared to the group with some schooling, the probability of dying over the two- year inter-wave period was 26% higher among those with no schooling. Not having at least one year of formal education translated into a shorter additional life expectancy at age 60 by 1.4–2.0 years. Having chronic and/or infectious disease also increased the risk of mortality during the same period. Conclusions. These results indicate that 1) a mixed epidemiological regime (the presence of both chronic and infectious disease) adds to the mortality health burden experienced by older people, and 2) there are persistent inequalities in mortality risks based on socioeconomic status.

Keywords / Palabras clave: Mortality; aging; life expectancy; health inequalities; Mexico

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