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Educational inequalities in life expectancy in German speaking part of Switzerland 1990-1997: Swiss National Cohort


Spoerri, Adrian; Zwahlen, Marcel; Egger, Matthias; Gutzwiller, Felix; Minder, Christoph; Bopp, Matthias (2006). Educational inequalities in life expectancy in German speaking part of Switzerland 1990-1997: Swiss National Cohort. Swiss Medical Weekly, 136(9-10):145-148.

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVE: Switzerland belongs to the group of nations with the highest life expectancy. However, it is unclear to what extent life expectancy varies across socio-economic groups. We used data from a large longitudinal study to quantify differentials in life expectancy across educational groups for men and women of different ages.
DESIGN: The Swiss National Cohort linked the records from the December 4th, 1990 census with death certificate data up to 1997, using a probabilistic record linkage method. The current analysis was restricted to Swiss nationals resident in the German speaking part of the country. Life expectancy was calculated for four educational categories ("compulsory schooling or less", "vocational training", "upper secondary education", "university education") by constructing abridged life tables for men and women aged 30 or older.
RESULTS: The study was based on 3.06 million persons and 262,552 deaths recorded during 19.01 million person-years of follow up. The educational level was lower in women than in men. In most age groups vocational training was the dominant educational category. At ages 30, 50, 65 and 80 men with university education lived 7.1, 5.4, 3.5 and 1.6 years longer than their counterparts with compulsory education or less. In women the corresponding differences were 3.6, 3.1, 2.7 and 2.2 years.
CONCLUSIONS: In Switzerland educational gradients in life expectancy are substantial, particularly among young and middle-aged men. Social policies and public health strategies should address this situation.

Abstract

STUDY OBJECTIVE: Switzerland belongs to the group of nations with the highest life expectancy. However, it is unclear to what extent life expectancy varies across socio-economic groups. We used data from a large longitudinal study to quantify differentials in life expectancy across educational groups for men and women of different ages.
DESIGN: The Swiss National Cohort linked the records from the December 4th, 1990 census with death certificate data up to 1997, using a probabilistic record linkage method. The current analysis was restricted to Swiss nationals resident in the German speaking part of the country. Life expectancy was calculated for four educational categories ("compulsory schooling or less", "vocational training", "upper secondary education", "university education") by constructing abridged life tables for men and women aged 30 or older.
RESULTS: The study was based on 3.06 million persons and 262,552 deaths recorded during 19.01 million person-years of follow up. The educational level was lower in women than in men. In most age groups vocational training was the dominant educational category. At ages 30, 50, 65 and 80 men with university education lived 7.1, 5.4, 3.5 and 1.6 years longer than their counterparts with compulsory education or less. In women the corresponding differences were 3.6, 3.1, 2.7 and 2.2 years.
CONCLUSIONS: In Switzerland educational gradients in life expectancy are substantial, particularly among young and middle-aged men. Social policies and public health strategies should address this situation.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Prevention Institute (EBPI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2006
Deposited On:24 Sep 2013 12:12
Last Modified:02 Mar 2017 08:01
Publisher:EMH Swiss Medical Publishers
ISSN:0036-7672
Free access at:Official URL. An embargo period may apply.
Official URL:https://smw.ch/en/archives/article/?tx_ezmjournal_articledetail[identifier]=smw.2006.11328
PubMed ID:16633959

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