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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348
Print version ISSN 1020-4989


MIRON CANELO, José Antonio et al. Premature death from infectious diseases in Spain, 1908-1995. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2002, vol.12, n.4, pp.262-268. ISSN 1680-5348.

Objectives. Infectious diseases have traditionally been one of the leading causes of death in developed countries. The objectives of this research were to: 1) quantify the importance of infectious diseases as a cause of premature mortality in Spain between 1908 and 1995, and 2) determine the frequency and distribution of the infectious diseases with the greatest impact on premature death. Methods. The study was carried out based on data on mortality from infectious causes published by the National Institute of Statistics in the Movimiento natural de la población (Natural Movement of the Population) for the study period. Three indicators of premature mortality were used: the potential years of life lost (PYLL), the crude rate of PYLL per 1 000 population, and the percentage and the average of PYLL. Results. Between 1908 and 1995, the number and the rate of PYLL from infectious causes clearly declined. The decrease was more prominent starting in the 1950s, and it was seen in all age groups. Tuberculosis was the leading cause of premature death from the beginning of the century until the 1970s, but after that, the leading causes became pneumonia and AIDS. Conclusions. The impact of infectious diseases as determinants of premature death in Spain declined during the 20th century, especially starting in the 1970s.

Keywords : Enfermedades infecciosas; mortalidad prematura; años de vida potencial perdidos (AVPP).

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