AbstractThe objective of this research is to determine if different causes of death would explain gender inequality in mortality at advanced ages between 1991 and 2011 in the province of Tarragona (Catalonia, Spain). Mortality tables are made based on deaths according to age and sex from statistics provided by Instituto Nacional de Estadística español (INE) and Institut d’Estadística de Catalunya (IDESCAT) in order to show the evolution of mortality. From this, a homogenous group of the main causes of death is produced. Indirect standardization is the methodology used to carry out an exact interpretation of the classification of deadly diseases and comparison between areas. The results show that life expectancy differs between sexes by six years, with women having a greater life expectancy. However, for the first time in the twentieth century, male life expectancy grows more than female life expectancy. As for causes of death, Tarragona has lower mortality than Spain in 1991 (0.71 and 0.75) and for women in 2001 (0.90) and a higher incidence of deaths from the set of "other diseases" (greater than 1): new degenerative diseases, mental, nervous and endocrine illnesses, etc. Public health policies should give more priority to advances in longevity, especially in women. They reach the highest levels of life expectancy from birth and create new epidemiological patterns. Additionally, they develop new diseases, such as mental and nervous illnesses at the moment.
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