IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

No evidence of morbidity compression in Spain: a time series study based on national hospitalization records


  • Stefan Walter

    () (University of California San Francisco)

  • Hiram Beltrán-Sánchez

    (University of California)

  • Enrique Regidor

    (Universidad Complutense de Madrid)

  • Carlos Gomez-Martin

    (12 de Octubre University Hospital)

  • Jose Luis del-Barrio

    (Rey Juan Carlos University)

  • Angel Gil-de-Miguel

    (Rey Juan Carlos University)

  • S. V. Subramanian

    (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health)

  • Ruth Gil-Prieto

    (Rey Juan Carlos University
    Harvard Medical School)


Abstract Objectives Compression of morbidity postulates that as the populations age, the age of onset of disease is postponed. The objective of this study is to test for evidence of compression of morbidity in Spain. Methods We calculated the age and sex-specific incidence of myocardial infarction, heart failure, cerebrovascular disease, as well as bladder, prostate, breast, lung, and colon cancer among hospital discharges covering 99.5 % of the Spanish population, approximately 40 million inhabitants for two non-overlapping periods, 1997–2000 and 2007–2010, and estimated the length of life spent with disease using the Sullivan method. Results We found that expansion of morbidity due to an earlier age-specific onset of incident disease and increase in life expectancy was the norm in Spain. Notable exceptions were cardiovascular disease in women (−0.2 % time spent with disease) and lung cancer for men (−0.9 % time spent with disease) from 1997–2000 to 2007–2010. Conclusions Compression of morbidity is often cited by policy makers when discussing adjustments to the health-care system. If morbidity is measured by age at onset of disease, the burden of morbidity has increased in Spain.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefan Walter & Hiram Beltrán-Sánchez & Enrique Regidor & Carlos Gomez-Martin & Jose Luis del-Barrio & Angel Gil-de-Miguel & S. V. Subramanian & Ruth Gil-Prieto, 2016. "No evidence of morbidity compression in Spain: a time series study based on national hospitalization records," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 61(7), pages 729-738, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:ijphth:v:61:y:2016:i:7:d:10.1007_s00038-016-0829-5
    DOI: 10.1007/s00038-016-0829-5

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Vicki Freedman & Brenda Spillman & Patti Andreski & Jennifer Cornman & Eileen Crimmins & Ellen Kramarow & James Lubitz & Linda Martin & Sharon Merkin & Robert Schoeni & Teresa Seeman & Timothy Waidman, 2013. "Trends in Late-Life Activity Limitations in the United States: An Update From Five National Surveys," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 50(2), pages 661-671, April.
    2. Bloom, David E. & Canning, David & Mansfield, Richard K. & Moore, Michael, 2007. "Demographic change, social security systems, and savings," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 92-114, January.
    3. Laura Romeu Gordo, 2011. "Compression of morbidity and the labour supply of older people," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(4), pages 503-513.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Juliane Tetzlaff & Denise Muschik & Jelena Epping & Sveja Eberhard & Siegfried Geyer, 2017. "Expansion or compression of multimorbidity? 10-year development of life years spent in multimorbidity based on health insurance claims data of Lower Saxony, Germany," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 62(6), pages 679-686, July.
    2. Heger, Dörte & Kolodziej, Ingo W.K., 2016. "Changes in morbidity over time: Evidence from Europe," Ruhr Economic Papers 640, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    3. Siegfried Geyer, 2016. "Morbidity compression: a promising and well-established concept?," International Journal of Public Health, Springer;Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), vol. 61(7), pages 727-728, September.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:ijphth:v:61:y:2016:i:7:d:10.1007_s00038-016-0829-5. 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: (Sonal Shukla) or (Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.