Socioeconomic inequalities in mortality at older ages in Quebec (Canada): perspectives from the modal age at death

Chantale Lecours, Université de Montréal
Robert R. Bourbeau, Université de Montréal
Nadine Ouellette, University of California, Berkeley

Previous studies showed important differences in adult mortality according to the socioeconomic status of individuals, revealing that the level of education, type of occupation, and level of income have huge impacts on health and mortality. However, few studies addressed this issue in old-age mortality specifically. In this paper, we use a recently proposed method to investigate whether changes in the modal age at death and in the mortality dispersion above this age vary along the levels of deprivation within a population. We rely on the method of P-splines, a nonparametric approach, to smooth mortality data for each quintile of deprivation and then estimate the modal age at death and the mortality dispersion above that age. Using data for Quebec (Canada) for periods 2000-2002 and 2005-2007, we show that inequality according to the deprivation index persist, in particular among Quebec men, beyond the age where premature mortality occurs.

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Presented in Session 34: Socioeconomic status and health/mortality