IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

The Epidemiologic Transition Revisited: Compositional Models for Causes of Death by Age and Sex

Listed author(s):
  • Joshua A. Salomon
  • Christopher J. L. Murray
Registered author(s):

    For decades, researchers have noted systematic shifts in cause-of-death patterns as mortality levels change. The notion of the "epidemiologic transition" has influenced thinking about the evolution of health in different societies and the response of the health system to these changes. This article re-examines the epidemiologic transition in terms of empirical regularities in the cause composition of mortality by age and sex since 1950, and considers whether the theory of epidemiologic transition presents a durable framework for understanding more recent patterns. Age-sex-specific mortality rates from three broad cause groups are analyzed: Group 1 (communicable diseases, maternal and perinatal causes, and nutritional deficiencies); Group 2 (noncommunicable diseases); and Group 3 (injuries), using the most extensive international database on mortality by cause, including 1,576 country-years of observation, and new statistical models for compositional data. The analyses relate changes in cause-of-death patterns to changing levels of all-cause mortality and income per capita. The results confirm that declines in overall mortality are accompanied by systematic changes in the composition of causes in many age groups. These changes are most pronounced among children, for whom Group 1 causes decline as overall mortality falls, and in younger adults, where strikingly different patterns are found for men (shift from Group 3 to Group 2) compared to women (shift toward Group 2 then Group 3). The underlying patterns that emerge from this analysis offer insights into the epidemiologic transition from high-mortality to low-mortality settings. Copyright 2002 by The Population Council, Inc..

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by The Population Council, Inc. in its journal Population and Development Review.

    Volume (Year): 28 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 205-228

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:28:y:2002:i:2:p:205-228
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Order Information: Web:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:28:y:2002:i:2:p:205-228. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

    or (Christopher F. Baum)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.