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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


ARAN BARES, M. et al. Geographical distribution and time trends in avoidable mortality in Catalonia, Spain (1986-2001). Gac Sanit [online]. 2005, vol.19, n.4, pp.307-315. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objectives: To analyze time trends and geographical variation in avoidable mortality by health areas in Catalonia. Material and methods: Avoidable mortality was analyzed according to the classification used by the Health Department of the Regional Government of Catalonia from 1986-2001 for health areas and causes were grouped as treatable and preventable. Standarized mortality rates were calculated by the direct and indirect method and the comparative mortality figures were calculated for the treatable and preventable groups and for the 46 health areas. The mean annual change adjusted for age was also calculated using a Poisson regression of avoidable and general mortality. Results: The total number of avoidable deaths was 61261 (7.3% of overall deaths). 10623 cases (17.34%) were classified as treatable and 50638 (82.65%) as preventable. The mean annual change for avoidable causes was -2.43% (95% CI, -2.60 to -2.26), higher than the -1.57% (95% CI, -1.61 to -1.52) change for general mortality. The rates were higher for preventable causes than for treatable causes, although mortality decreased in both groups. The health area of Segrià was notable for its significantly higher mortality from both treatable and preventable causes in both periods. Four health areas showed a significant increase in mortality from preventable causes but none showed an increase in mortality from treatable causes. Conclusions: In Catalonia, the decrease in avoidable mortality was greater than that in general mortality from 1986 to 2001. The geographical distribution shows wide dispersion but allows areas requiring preventive interventions to be identified.

Keywords : Mortality; Premature mortality; Cause of death; Small-area analysis; Quality indicators.

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