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23.08.2017 | Original Article | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

International Journal of Public Health 1/2018

The contribution of alcohol consumption and smoking to educational inequalities in life expectancy among Swedish men and women during 1991–2008

Zeitschrift:
International Journal of Public Health > Ausgabe 1/2018
Autoren:
Olof Östergren, Pekka Martikainen, Olle Lundberg

Abstract

Objectives

To assess the level and changes in contribution of smoking and alcohol-related mortality to educational differences in life expectancy in Sweden.

Methods

We used register data on the Swedish population at ages 30–74 during 1991–2008. Cause of death was used to identify alcohol-related deaths, while smoking-related mortality was estimated using lung cancer mortality to indirectly assess the impact of smoking on all-cause mortality.

Results

Alcohol consumption and smoking contributed to educational differences in life expectancy. Alcohol-related mortality was higher among men and contributed substantially to inequalities among men and made a small (but increasing) contribution to inequalities among women. Smoking-related mortality decreased among men but increased among women, primarily among the low educated. At the end of the follow-up, smoking-related mortality were at similar levels among men and women. The widening gap in life expectancy among women could largely be attributed to smoking.

Conclusions

Smoking and alcohol consumption contribute to educational differences in life expectancy among men and women. The majority of the widening in the educational gap in mortality among women can be attributed to alcohol and smoking-related mortality.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO REVIEWERS

Acknowledgement to Reviewers 2017