Monday, January 18, 2016

Homicides in Mexico Reversed Life Expectancy Gains for Men & Slowed Them for Women, 2000-10

Life expectancy in Mexico increased for more than six decades but then stagnated in the period 2000-10. This decade was characterized by the enactment of a major health care reform-the implementation of the Seguro Popular de Salud (Popular Health Insurance), which was intended to provide coverage to the entire Mexican population-and by an unexpected increase in homicide mortality. 

We assessed the impact on life expectancy of conditions amenable to medical service-those sensitive to public health policies and changes in behaviors, homicide, and diabetes-by analyzing mortality trends at the state level. We found that life expectancy among males deteriorated from 2005 to 2010, compared to increases from 2000 to 2005. Females in most states experienced small gains in life expectancy between 2000 and 2010. 

The unprecedented rise in homicides after 2005 led to a reversal in life expectancy increases among males and a slowdown among females in most states in the first decade of the twenty-first century.

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  • 1José Manuel Aburto is a Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research fellow at the European Doctoral School of Demography, Sapienza University (, in Rome, Italy.
  • 2Hiram Beltrán-Sánchez ( is an assistant professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences and at the California Center for Population Research, both at the University of California, Los Angeles.
  • 3Victor Manuel García-Guerrero is a professor at the Center of Demographic, Urban, and Environmental Studies, El Colegio de México, in Mexico City.
  • 4Vladimir Canudas-Romo is an associate professor at the Max-Planck Odense Center on Biodemography of Aging, University of Southern Denmark, in Odense.
  •  2016 Jan 1;35(1):88-95. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2015.0068. 

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