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Linked versus unlinked estimates of mortality and length of life by education and marital status: Evidence from the first record linkage study in Lithuania

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  • Shkolnikov, Vladimir M.
  • Jasilionis, Domantas
  • Andreev, Evgeny M.
  • Jdanov, Dmitri A.
  • Stankuniene, Vladislava
  • Ambrozaitiene, Dalia

Abstract

Earlier studies have found large and increasing with time differences in mortality by education and marital status in post-Soviet countries. Their results are based on independent tabulations of population and deaths counts (unlinked data). The present study provides the first census-linked estimates of group-specific mortality and the first comparison between census-linked and unlinked mortality estimates for a post-Soviet country. The study is based on a data set linking 140,000 deaths occurring in 2001-2004 in Lithuania with the population census of 2001. The same socio-demographic information about the deceased is available from both the census and death records. Cross-tabulations and Poisson regressions are used to compare linked and unlinked data. Linked and unlinked estimates of life expectancies and mortality rate ratios are calculated with standard life table techniques and Poisson regressions. For the two socio-demographic variables under study, the values from the death records partly differ from those from the census records. The deviations are especially significant for education, with 72-73%, 66-67%, and 82-84% matching for higher education, secondary education, and lower education, respectively. For marital status, deviations are less frequent. For education and marital status, unlinked estimates tend to overstate mortality in disadvantaged groups and they understate mortality in advantaged groups. The differences in inter-group life expectancy and the mortality rate ratios thus are significantly overestimated in the unlinked data. Socio-demographic differences in mortality previously observed in Lithuania and possibly other post-Soviet countries are overestimated. The growth in inequalities over the 1990s is real but might be overstated. The results of this study confirm the existence of large and widening health inequalities but call for better data.

Suggested Citation

  • Shkolnikov, Vladimir M. & Jasilionis, Domantas & Andreev, Evgeny M. & Jdanov, Dmitri A. & Stankuniene, Vladislava & Ambrozaitiene, Dalia, 2007. "Linked versus unlinked estimates of mortality and length of life by education and marital status: Evidence from the first record linkage study in Lithuania," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 64(7), pages 1392-1406, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:64:y:2007:i:7:p:1392-1406
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Weaver, 2000. "The accuracy of survey-reported marital status: Evidence from survey records matched to social security records," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 37(3), pages 395-399, August.
    2. Valkonen, Tapani, 1993. "Problems in the measurement and international comparison of socio-economic differences in mortality," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 409-418, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mackenbach, Johan P. & Kulhánová, Ivana & Bopp, Matthias & Deboosere, Patrick & Eikemo, Terje A. & Hoffmann, Rasmus & Kulik, Margarete C. & Leinsalu, Mall & Martikainen, Pekka & Menvielle, Gwenn & Reg, 2015. "Variations in the relation between education and cause-specific mortality in 19 European populations: A test of the “fundamental causes” theory of social inequalities in health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 51-62.
    2. Domantas Jasilionis & Giedre Smailyte & Ieva Vincerzevskiene & Vladimir Shkolnikov, 2015. "Educational differentials in cancer mortality and avoidable deaths in Lithuania, 2001–2009: a census-linked study," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 60(8), pages 919-926, December.
    3. Mäki, Netta & Martikainen, Pekka & Eikemo, Terje & Menvielle, Gwenn & Lundberg, Olle & Östergren, Olof & Jasilionis, Domantas & Mackenbach, Johan P., 2013. "Educational differences in disability-free life expectancy: a comparative study of long-standing activity limitation in eight European countries," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 1-8.
    4. Hannelore Grande & Patrick Deboosere & Hadewijch Vandenheede, 2013. "Evolution of educational inequalities in mortality among young adults in an urban setting," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 58(6), pages 825-835, December.
    5. Markéta Pechholdová & Gabriela Šamanová, 2013. "Mortality by marital status in a rapidly changing society: Evidence from the Czech Republic," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 29(12), pages 307-322, August.
    6. Eunyoung Shim & Youngtae Cho, 2013. "Widening social disparities in alcohol-attributable deaths among Korean men aged 40–59 years during the transitional period of the economic crisis (1995–2005)," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 58(4), pages 521-527, August.
    7. Shor, Eran & Roelfs, David J. & Bugyi, Paul & Schwartz, Joseph E., 2012. "Meta-analysis of marital dissolution and mortality: Reevaluating the intersection of gender and age," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 75(1), pages 46-59.
    8. Wiktoria Wróblewska, 2012. "Nierówności społeczne w stanie zdrowia w Polsce – analiza na podstawie samooceny stanu zdrowia oraz poziomu wykształcenia," Collegium of Economic Analysis Annals, Warsaw School of Economics, Collegium of Economic Analysis, issue 28, pages 65-84.
    9. Isaac Sasson, 2016. "Trends in Life Expectancy and Lifespan Variation by Educational Attainment: United States, 1990–2010," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 53(2), pages 269-293, April.

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