Decomposing Mortality Rates and Examining Health Status of the Elderly in Jamaica


Population ageing in Jamaica follows a global trend where the number of persons aged 60 and over is increasing. This study investigated age-specific death rates, mortality sex ratio and health status of the elderly in Jamaica aged 55 years and over. The study utilized secondary data published by the Statistical Institute of Jamaica on mortality and secondary cross-sectional probability survey data were used to model poor health status in elderly residents. The findings revealed that there is increased life expectancy. In 2005, the age-specific mortality rate for elderly 75 years and older was 4.4 times more than that of the crude death rate for the population; 9.4 times more than that of age-specific death rate at ages 55 to 59 years and that disparity narrows at the elderly gets older. The mortality sex ratio revealed that between 115 to 120 males die for every 100 females. More men die between the ages of 55 and 75, than men 75 years and older. As Jamaicans become older than 55 years their poor health status significantly increased. Poor health status was accounted for significantly by hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and arthritis. Eight factors determine poor health status of elderly Jamaicans. Some of these factors are retirement income (OR = 1.461, 95%CI:1.001, 2.131); cost of medical care (OR = 1.144, 95%CI = 1.073, 1.220); area of residence (other towns OR = 0.754, 95%CI = 0.597, 0.953); marital status (separated OR = 1.901, 95%CI = 1.479, 2.445; married OR = 1.406, 95%CI = 1.103, 1.792); education (secondary OR = 1.206, 95%CI = 1.001, 1.451; tertiary level education OR = 0.492, 95%CI = 0.281, 0.861), and number of men in household (OR = 0.987, 95%CI = 0.806, 0.998). This study provides valuable information about the mortality rates and health status of elderly residents in Jamaica. High mortality rates for avoidable and preventable diseases and potential years of life lost are major public health concerns, especially for regional healthcare providers.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Bourne2009DecomposingMR, title={Decomposing Mortality Rates and Examining Health Status of the Elderly in Jamaica}, author={Paul Andrew Bourne and Donovan A. McGrowder and Tazhmoye V. Crawford}, year={2009} }