Ribeiro, Filipe; Mendes, Maria Filomena
Profound changes occurred in demographic paradigms, some resulted in an extraordinary life expectancy increase and now the high rates of mortality of the past are being experienced later in life. Currently, the economic crisis witnessed in Europe, especially in the south, might disturb demographic evolutionary trends. Evolutionary mortality patterns accordingly to different causes of death (CODs) are essential to give an insight not only for demographers, but also to policymakers and create robust foundations for future planning proposes. In the past infectious diseases strongly affected entire populations, nowadays, neoplasms are leading in almost all of the developed countries but, still, the elimination of any preventable cause will result in better health and increasing lifespan. COD statistics recently published by the EUROSTAT (2014) show that between cancer related death rates (EU) diminished 8.4% and 4.8% (2004 to 2010) for females and males, respectively. Deaths caused by ischaemic heart diseases and transport accidents registered were reduced in more than 20%. These results correspond to a very positive evolution, but neoplasms and diseases of the circulatory system are still the leading CODs. With our analysis we intend to understand the contribution of the different CODs in what concerns to the increase in life expectancy for different countries (Portugal, France, Sweden, Spain and Italy), focusing specially at old ages. Consequently, we elaborate a coherent perspective of future mortality patterns by COD, proportionating significant information for preventive planning in what concerns to health and identify how recent turbulence may influence future mortality.