Impact of HIV/AIDS on life expectancy in the United States

Dejian Lai, Shan P. Tsai, Robert J. Hardy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives: The potential gains in life expectancy of the US population by the partial and total elimination of deaths from HIV/AIDS were compared with that of deaths from heart disease and malignant neoplasms. Methods: The data from the 1992 advanced mortality report and detailed information provided by the National Center for Health Statistics were analysed by using the partial multiple decrement life-table technique. Results: For the total population of the United States in 1992, the gains in future life expectancy through the elimination of deaths from HIV/AIDS, heart disease and malignant neoplasms were 0.34, 3.25 and 3.21 years, respectively. The gains in life expectancy in those of working age (15-64 years) through the elimination of deaths from these three causes of deaths were 0.20, 0.40 and 0.55 years, respectively. Race/sex-specific calculations indicate that the total elimination of deaths from HIV/AIDS, heart disease and malignant neoplasms in white men of working age resulted in increased life expectancy of 0.28; 0.54 and 0.53, respectively, whereas the corresponding figures for black men were 0.82, 0.90 and 0.76 years, respectively. Although the impact of the elimination of the other causes remained relatively stable from 1987 to 1992, the potential gains in life expectancy for black men of working age by eliminating HIV/AIDS rose from 0.36 years in 1987 to 0.82 years in 1992. For the total US population of working age, the elimination of HIV/AIDS deaths resulted in increased life expectancy similar to that observed for a 50% reduction of heart disease or malignant neoplasms, whereas among black men of working age, the increased years of life expectancy from the elimination of HIV/AIDS deaths were virtually the same as those observed for the elimination of heart disease or malignant neoplasms. Conclusions: The potential gains in life expectancy by reduction of deaths from heart disease and malignant neoplasms are more heavily influenced by increasing years after the working ages (15-64 years), whereas the potential gains in life expectancy by reducing deaths from HIV/AIDS make a greater contribution to those of working age. Hence, in terms of the economic costs and benefits, these results indicate that in evaluating policy issues regarding allocation of research funds, studies of life expectancy are far more important than the simple approach which allocates funds on the basis of the number of deaths due to various diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-207
Number of pages5
JournalAIDS
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Heart disease
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Life expectancy
  • Malignant neoplasms
  • Multiple decrement life-table
  • Partial elimination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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