Comparative analysis of relative and absolute mortality differentials between socioeconomic groups are now available. These show consistently increasing relative increases in mortality differentials but complex trends in absolute mortality differentials.
This paper provides an analysis of relative and absolute trends in mortality by cause of death and socioeconomic group (SEG) from 1984 to 2008 among men and active women aged 30-64 years in Ireland and compares these results with recent European and US studies to give an overview of trends.
This paper uses mortality data from the Irish Central Statistics Office from 1984 to 2008 to calculate standardized death rates by age, sex, socioeconomic status and cause of death showing trends in SEG inequalities in mortality in Ireland. These show which specific causes of death are driving all-cause mortality trends.
SEG differentials in all-cause mortality among men and women have been increasing since the 1980s. Some of this increase reflects larger falls in cardiovascular causes among advantaged groups, but the trend is largely accounted for by increasing inequalities in mortality in digestive, neoplasm and external causes of deaths.
These findings are in line with international findings that show that socioeconomic differentials in digestive, neoplasm and external cause deaths are driving general socioeconomic differentials in all-cause mortality. External cause deaths may have been influenced by levels of economic activity, particularly in construction, during the economic boom among manual workers. Furthermore, deaths from digestive diseases during the 1990s and 2000s may well be the result of increases in liver disease associated with excessive alcohol consumption.
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