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Socioeconomic differences in the use of ill-defined causes of death in 16 European countries
Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, Netherlands .
Pierre Louis Institute of Epidemiology and Public Health, Paris, France .
University of Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland .
Agència de Salut Pública de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain .
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2014 (English)In: BMC Public Health, ISSN 1471-2458, E-ISSN 1471-2458, Vol. 14, 1295Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Cause-of-death data linked to information on socioeconomic position form one of the most important sources of information about health inequalities in many countries. The proportion of deaths from ill-defined conditions is one of the indicators of the quality of cause-of-death data. We investigated educational differences in the use of ill-defined causes of death in official mortality statistics.

METHODS: Using age-standardized mortality rates from 16 European countries, we calculated the proportion of all deaths in each educational group that were classified as due to "Symptoms, signs and ill-defined conditions". We tested if this proportion differed across educational groups using Chi-square tests.

RESULTS: The proportion of ill-defined causes of death was lower than 6.5% among men and 4.5% among women in all European countries, without any clear geographical pattern. This proportion statistically significantly differed by educational groups in several countries with in most cases a higher proportion among less than secondary educated people compared with tertiary educated people.

CONCLUSIONS: We found evidence for educational differences in the distribution of ill-defined causes of death. However, the differences between educational groups were small suggesting that socioeconomic inequalities in cause-specific mortality in Europe are not likely to be biased.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 14, 1295
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-25781DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-14-1295ISI: 000347988100001PubMedID: 25518912ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84924322842OAI: diva2:778265
Available from: 2015-01-09 Created: 2015-01-09 Last updated: 2016-10-10Bibliographically approved

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