Mortality trends in a rapidly developing economy in Taiwan. Part I: Comparison with the USA and Japan 1976-1983.

S. P. Tsai, C. P. Wen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The mortality experience of Taiwan was examined for two time periods (1976 and 1983) to determine the magnitude and direction of change in age-adjusted mortality and to identify deviation from the expected progress by comparison with two industrialized nations, the USA and Japan. Between 1976 and 1983 the overall mortality showed an annual average of nearly 2% decrease, mostly contributed by the marked reduction in the number of young. Significant reductions were also observed for deaths from strokes, rheumatic heart disease, ill-defined conditions, cancer of the stomach, and infectious diseases such as tuberculosis. A disturbing increase in suicide as well as accidents primarily caused by motor vehicles was noted. In general, cancer increased, to an alarming degree for environmentally implicated cancers such as lung, pancreas, nasopharynx, brain and liver in men. When compared to that of the USA or Japan, the mortality experience of Taiwan showed the following increases: overall female mortality, accidental deaths, suicide among elderly women, deaths from strokes, ulcers, asthma, and liver, nasopharyngeal and cervical cancers. However, the overall cancer mortality rate was still much lower than that either in the USA or Japan. Despite marked reductions in infectious disease mortality, deaths from tuberculosis were nearly 40 times those of the USA. Although deaths from ill-defined conditions decreased by half during this study period, they were still high, particularly among elderly women (13% of all deaths and 22 times higher than the USA), which probably reflects inadequate medical services for women. The role of the Taiwanese government in the financing of health services was found to be far smaller than that of the USA or Japan. Expanding health care expenditure by the government is desirable if improvement in the maldistribution of medical services is to be achieved and the untoward health effects of rapid industrialization is to be reduced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-50
Number of pages10
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Public Health
Volume3
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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