New insights into the Far Eastern pattern of mortality

Michele Gragnolati, Irma T. Elo, Noreen Goldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Some of the highest levels of excess mortality of males found anywhere in the world were present in several Far Eastern populations during the 1960s and 1970s but have progressively disappeared since that time. This study uses cause-of-death data to determine the diseases responsible for the existence and attenuation of these sex differences in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan. The results indicate that respiratory tuberculosis is the single most important underlying cause of the existence and attenuation of the pattern, that the role of liver diseases is not clear cut, and that other causes (such as cardiovascular diseases) are also important. A review of numerous risk factors yields no compelling reason why these populations experienced such large sex differences in mortality. However, it seems likely that public health and biomedical improvements (particularly those related to the reduction in mortality from tuberculosis) played a critical role in the attenuation of the Far Eastern mortality pattern.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-95
Number of pages15
JournalPopulation Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • History


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