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Revista de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 0124-0064


ALVIS-GUZMAN, Nelson  and  ALVIS-ESTRADA, Luís. The economic cost of avoidable mortality in Cartagena, Colombia, 2000-2005. Rev. salud pública [online]. 2009, vol.11, n.6, pp.970-978. ISSN 0124-0064.

Objective Evaluating the economic cost of loss of human capital produced by preventable deaths in Cartagena, 2000-2005, from estimating years of potential life lost (YPLL) and the percentage of years of potential productive life lost (YPPLL). Methods This was a mixed ecological study, using 2000-2005 time series. Mortality data was taken from the Colombian National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE) records. Cases of preventable death were classified according to Taucher's guidelines. YPLL and YPPLL were used as indicators. Deaths were adjusted by adopting WHO-recommended Bennett-Horiuchi methodology for accounting for underreporting. Two scenarios were assumed: a minimum or flat scenario and an upper or roof scenario. Once YPLL for each annual period had been established, they were multiplied by minimum income according to scenario. Epidat 3.0 software was used for analysing the database. Results There were 20,723 preventable deaths (adjusted for underreporting). One out of every three preventable deaths which occurred in Cartagena could have been averted by early diagnosis and medical treatment, according to Taucher. Violent deaths are the kind of avoidable deaths which produce higher costs according to the informationprocessing (IPC) model adopted in this study. Conclusions Reducing preventable deaths by early diagnosis and medical treatment would cause a significant reduction in avoidable mortality.

Keywords : Cost and cost analysis; years of potential life lost; mortality.

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