The Future of Longevity in Latin America: Consequences of Tobacco Smoking

Beatriz Novak, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Alberto Palloni, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Gains in life expectancy in the US over the last decades have been below those attained by other high-income countries. Recent investigations suggest that an important fraction of the total differences in life expectancy between the US and other high-income countries is rooted in failure to progress at older age. An important contributor to this disadvantage is excess mortality due to smoking-related causes. Several studies show relatively high smoking prevalence in certain Latin American and Caribbean countries; most of them are forerunners of the mortality decline that took place after 1930. We know very little about the effects that smoking behaviors in the region have on mortality patterns now and may have in the future. The objective of this paper is to compute estimates of potential losses in life expectancy at age 50 that could be expected as result of the cumulated impact of smoking among cohorts reaching older ages.

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Presented in Session 60: Health and Mortality in Developing Countries