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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


MELCHOR, Inmaculada et al. Avoidable mortality: Changes in the new century?. Gac Sanit [online]. 2008, vol.22, n.3, pp.200-209. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objectives: To analyze time trends and the geographical distribution of avoidable mortality in the autonomous community of Valencia and its health departments by sex in the periods 1990-1994, 1995-1999, and 2000-2004. Material and method: Twenty-one causes of avoidable mortality were analyzed. The deaths analyzed corresponded to residents in the autonomous community of Valencia between 1990 and 2004. Age-standardized mortality rates were calculated using the direct method. To study time trends in the geographical area of interest for each period and sex, comparative mortality ratios were calculated. To analyze geographical distribution, standardized mortality rates were calculated by the indirect method. Results: The total number of avoidable deaths was 38,061 (7.1% of overall deaths). Men accounted for 76.2% and women for 23.8%. By groups, 82.4% were preventable and 17.6% were treatable. Preventable deaths represented 86.5% of deaths in men and 69.4% of those in women. Avoidable mortality in Valencia significantly decreased in both sexes, this decrease being more marked in the group of treatable deaths and in men. Mortality from lung cancer in women significantly increased. Between 2000 and 2004, none of the health departments showed a significant excess of treatable mortality. Conclusions: In the autonomous community of Valencia, there was a greater decrease in avoidable mortality than in general mortality. The increase in lung cancer in women was notable.

Keywords : Mortality; Avoidable mortality; Causes of death; Health indicators; Quality indicators.

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