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Convergence or divergence of educational disparities in mortality and morbidity? The evolution of life expectancy and health expectancy by educational attainment in Austria in 1981-2006

Johannes Klotz

Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, 2010, vol. 8, issue 1, 139-174

Abstract: The continuous increase in life expectancy in developed countries is typically associated with an increase in the number of years in good health, whereas the number of years in bad health rather stagnates. At present relatively little is known about trends in educational disparities in mortality and particularly morbidity. By combining life tables from census follow-up with cross-sectional survey data on self-perceived health, we are able to estimate life expectancy as well as health expectancy differences between three educational groups in Austria in 1981-2006. All educational groups have substantially gained length and quality of life (both absolute and relative) during the last decades. Between medium and low educated females, we observe a significant decrease in the life expectancy difference, but a significant increase in the health expectancy difference. No significant changes in educational differences are found among males. The educational expansion of the population has shifted a large proportion of the population to lower-risk groups.

Date: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:vid:yearbk:v:8:y:2010:i:1:p:139-174