Potential gain in life expectancy by gender after elimination of a specific cause of death in urban India

Bal Kishan Gulati, Damodar Sahu, Anil Kumar, M. V. Vardhana Rao


Background: Life expectancy is a statistical measure to depict average life span a person is expected to live at a given age under given age-specific mortality rates. Cause-elimination life table measures potential gain in life expectancy after elimination of a specific disease. The present study aims to estimate potential gain in life expectancy by gender in urban India after complete and partial elimination of ten leading causes of deaths using secondary data of medical certification of cause of death (MCCD) for the year 2015.

Methods: Life table method was used for estimating potential gain after eliminating diseases to the tune of 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%.

Results: Maximum gain in life expectancy at birth estimated from complete elimination of diseases of the circulatory system (11.1 years in males versus 13.1 years in females); followed by certain infectious and parasitic diseases (2.2  versus 2.1 years); diseases of the respiratory system (2.2 versus 2.1); injury, poisoning and certain other consequences of external causes (1.1 versus 0.7); neoplasms (0.9 versus 1.0); endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases (0.8 versus 0.9); diseases of the digestive system (0.8 versus 0.4); diseases of the genitourinary system (0.6 versus 0.6); diseases of the nervous system (0.4 versus 0.4); and diseases of blood & blood forming organs and certain disorders involving the immune mechanism (0.2 versus 0.3 years).

Conclusions: Elimination of the circulatory diseases resulted into maximum gain in life expectancy. These findings may have implications in setting up health goals, allocating resources and launching tailor-made health programmes.


Complete, Elimination, Gender difference, Life expectancy, MCCD, Partial, Potential gain

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