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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


NOLASCO, Andreu et al. Mortality due to medical and surgical complications, economic crisis and health spending in Spain, 2002-2013. Gac Sanit [online]. 2019, vol.33, n.6, pp.504-510.  Epub Jan 27, 2020. ISSN 0213-9111.


To describe the evolution of mortality risks for complications due to medical care or surgery between the periods prior to (2002-2007) and after (2008-2013) the beginning of the economic crisis for Spain and by autonomous region, and to analyse the relationship between the changes in the risks of death and the socioeconomic impact of the crisis and the variation in health spending.


Ecological study based on age-standardized mortality rates, synthetic index of vulnerability as a socioeconomic indicator and variation in health expenditure as an indicator of health expenditure. The relative risk of death between periods was estimated with Poisson regression models.


The number of deaths increased for Spain in the period studied. Although the relationship between the increase in public investment in health and the decrease in mortality due to this cause has not been clearly demonstrated, it was possible to determine that the autonomous regions with the lowest increase in health expenditure had rates higher than the rest throughout the period, and that the most vulnerable to the crisis and with the lowest increase in spending presented the greatest increase in the risk of death between the periods.


Given the increase in these deaths, due to avoidable failures of the system, it is necessary to continue investigating this cause of mortality.

Keywords : Treatable mortality; Economic crisis; Health expenditure.

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