The recent stages of the epidemiologic transition in Poland

Wiktoria Wroblewska, Warsaw School of Economics

The object of this analysis is to study the evolution of the last stages of the epidemiologic transition in Poland, and to find out whether the country has experienced the fourth stage “age of delayed degenerative diseases” during which deaths by degenerative diseases are postponed to older ages (Olshansky and Ault 1986; Rogers and Hackenberg 1987; Mesle, Vallin 2002). This paper will examine age-specific causes of death and will look specifically at the course Poland has taken through the recent stages of the epidemiologic transition. Four specific questions will be addressed: (1) Was mortality’s decline concentrated mostly in advanced ages? (2) Did the decline occur at nearly the same pace for males and females? (3) Did specific changes occur within chronic disease groups? (4) Did mortality by social pathologies decline? Mortality data used in our study were obtained from the Human Mortality Database (HMD), WHO mortality files (HFA-DB) and from the Central Statistical Office in Warsaw. The present analysis employs decomposition method proposed by Arriaga (1984) to decompose differences in life expectancy in Poland for the period from 1960 to 2006. The contribution of changes in the cause of death to overall life expectancy was estimated since the early 1990s, when Poland experienced substantial advances in longevity.

Presented in Poster Session 2