This research describes and analyzes the evolution of the trend in life expectancy in Tarragona, Catalonia and Spain between 1960 and 1990. Tarragona shows the biggest increase and for both sexes. There is a difference in mortality between sexes but with a tendency showing the rates becoming increasingly to each other. To understand this inequality between different geographical and sexes we have been used the conceptual framework of the Theory of Epidemiologic Transition. Information of Instituto Nacional de Estadística de España (INE) and Institut Nacional d’Estadistica de Catalunya (IDESCAT) and methodology of indirect standardization were analyzed. Furthermore, a joint grouping of the leading causes of death has been created based on the International Classification of Diseases. During this period a large increase in life expectancy for both sexes takes place, but with a favourable difference for women. During this period, Tarragona had a high incidence of deaths from respiratory diseases and cancers and tumors, greater than in the rest of Spain, for both sexes. The epidemiology through indirect standardization is a good way to describe in greater detail the changes in the structure of the population and its impact on health inequality. Some causes of respiratory diseases and cancers are due to the lack of care of the environment, particularly through the nuclear and petrochemical industries. In Tarragona, these causes may be responsible for some of the effects, and measures to improve the environment during the decade from 1980-1990 may be causing their decline.
Keywords: vulnerable populations, ambient middle, indirect standardization