Explaining the health divide in Germany: Contribution of major causes of death to the difference in life expectancy at birt between east and west

Martin McKee*, Laurent Chenet, Naomi Fulop, Angela Hort, Helmut Brand, Waltraud Caspar, Ferenc Bojan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

In the post war period, the two parts of Germany have pursued very different social and economic paths. These have been associated with a diverging pattern of health, with life expectancy at birth growing much faster in the west, especially during the 1980s. By 1990, for both sexes, the figures were approximately three years longer in the west. Using the method developed by Pollard, we have measured the contribution of deaths from different causes and at different ages to overall life expectancy at birth in the German Federal Republic and German Democratic Republic in 1990. For men, deaths at 40 to 60 made the greatest contribution to the difference between the two states but, for women, the maximally affected age groups were somewhat older. The causes contributing most to the difference, for both sexes, were circulatory diseases and accidents and injuries. The possible explanations for these observations and the policy implications are discussed.

Translated title of the contributionExplaining the health divide in Germany: Contribution of major causes of death to the difference in life expectancy at birt between east and west
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)214-224
Number of pages11
JournalZeitschrift für Gesundheitswissenschaften = Journal of public health
Volume4
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1996
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • East Germany
  • life expectancy
  • mortality
  • West Germany

Cite this