Objectives: Non-communicable diseases have become the leading cause of death in middle-income countries, but mortality from injuries and infections remains high. We examined the contribution of specific causes to disparities in adult premature mortality (ages 25-64) by educational level from 1998 to 2007 in Colombia. Methods: Data from mortality registries were linked to population censuses to obtain mortality rates by educational attainment. We used Poisson regression to model trends in mortality by educational attainment and estimated the contribution of specific causes to the Slope Index of Inequality. Results: Men and women with only primary education had higher premature mortality than men and women with post-secondary education (RRmen=2.60, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 2.56, 2.64; RRwomen=2.36, CI: 2.31, 2.42). Mortality declined in all educational groups, but declines were significantly larger for higher-educated men and women. Homicide explained 55.1% of male inequalities while non-communicable diseases explained 62.5% of female inequalities and 27.1% of male inequalities. Infections explained a small proportion of inequalities in mortality. Conclusion: Injuries and non-communicable diseases contribute considerably to disparities in premature mortality in Colombia. Multi-sector policies to reduce both interpersonal violence and non-communicable disease risk factors are required to curb mortality disparities.

Age-specific death rate, Burden of illness, Colombia, Educational status, Health status disparities, Health transition, Mortality determinants, Socioeconomic factors
dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.03.018, hdl.handle.net/1765/62716
Preventive Medicine
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Arroyave, I, Burdorf, A, Cardona, D, & Avendano, M. (2014). Socioeconomic inequalities in premature mortality in Colombia, 1998-2007: The double burden of non-communicable diseases and injuries. Preventive Medicine, 64, 41–47. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2014.03.018