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Print version ISSN 0120-4157


ESLAVA-SCHMALBACH, Javier H; RINCON, Carlos Javier  and  GUARNIZO-HERRENO, Carol Cristina. Life expectancy at birth in Colombia, 2000-2009: inequalities by region and gender. Biomédica [online]. 2013, vol.33, n.3, pp.383-392. ISSN 0120-4157.

Introduction: Life expectancy is one of the measurements that have been used to monitor socioeconomic development within and among countries. During the last 30 years, life expectancy has increased worldwide mainly due to medical and technological developments. However, access to health care, new technologies and social determinants remain unevenly distributed among regions and countries in the world. Objective: To assess inequalities in life expectancy by gender and regions (departments) in Colombia between 2000 and 2009. Materials and methods: Ecological study. Life expectancy was estimated for each Colombian department using yearly life tables from 2000 to 2009. We used data from the death registries and the estimated population series, provided by the Departamento Administrativo Nacional de Estadística (DANE). For the study period, estimates of life expectancy by departments were compared with those from Japan for the years 2000, 2006 and 2009, which is the country with the highest life expectancy in the world, and with the Colombian department with the highest life expectancy from 2000 to 2009. Results: Compared with the highest life expectancy in the world, Colombian departments showed differences ranged between 5.7 and 21 years. We found significant differences between departments, with the largest difference being 15.3 years. Additionally, in some departments life expectancy decreased during the analyzed period. Conclusions: This study identified differences in life expectancy in Colombian departments suggesting inequalities in health and living conditions among them. These differences increased in some departments during the period 2000-2009.

Keywords : Life expectancy at birth; health inequalities; potential years of life lost; life tables; sex; Colombia.

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