Analysis of the life expectancy gap between Taipei and Kaohsiung

Chi Pang Wen, Shan Pou Tsai, Wen Shen Isabella Chung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: To quantify the effect of major causes of death on the life expectancy gap between Kaohsiung City and Taipei City and provide a research method for the comparison of life expectancy between two populations. Methods: Mortality data from 1981 to 2001 were acquired from the Department of Health. The population census data for the same period were obtained from the Ministry of the Interior. These two data sets were used to calculate the standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) and life expectancy of the residents of Taipei and Kaohsiung. Life expectancy was calculated using Chiang's life table method. The life expectancy gap between Kaohsiung and Taipei was decomposed using a method proposed by Tsai et al.(1982) Results: The mortality rates for virtually all leading causes of death in Kaohsiung were higher than those in Taipei in the past 20 years. In 2001, the life expectancies among males and females in Kaohsiung were 73.8 years and 78.7 years, respectively, which were similar to those in Taipei residents in 1986. The corresponding figures for Taipei residents in 2001 were 77.6 years and 82.0 years, respectively. The gap in life expectancy gaps between the two cities remained at three to four years from the period 1981-2001, of which cancer, diabetes, respiratory system disease, digestive system disease, and injuries accounted for 65% of the gaps for males and 62% for females in 2001. Conclusion: The gap in life expectancy for both males and females between Kaohsiung and Taipei remained relatively stable (3-4 years) from 1981-2001. The differential mortality from the diseases of cancer, diabetes, respiratory system disease, digestive system disease, and fatal injuries accounted for more than 60% of the gaps. Reducing risk factors for these diseases through primary prevention could have long-term effects in closing the life expectancy gaps between the two cities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-135
Number of pages11
JournalTaiwan Journal of Public Health
Volume24
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2005
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Decomposition
  • Life expectancy
  • Life table
  • Standardized Mortality Ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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