The Adoption of Smoking and Its Effect on the Mortality Gender Gap in Netherlands: A Historical Perspective

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Abstract

We examine in depth the effect of differences in the smoking adoption patterns of men and women on the mortality gender gap in Netherlands, employing a historical perspective. Using an indirect estimation technique based on observed lung cancer mortality from1931 to 2012, we estimated lifetime smoking prevalence and smoking-attributable mortality.We decomposed the sex difference in life expectancy at birth into smoking-related and nonsmoking-related overall and cause-specificmortality.Thesmoking epidemic in Netherlands, which started among men born around 1850 and among women from birth cohort 1900 onwards, contributed substantially to the increasing sex difference in life expectancy at birth from 1931 (1.3 years) to 1982 (6.7 years), the subsequent decline to 3.7 years in 2012, and the high excess mortality among Dutch men born between 1895 and 1910. Smoking-related cancer
mortality contributed most to the increase in the sex difference, whereas smoking-related cardiovascular disease mortality was mainly responsible for the decline from1983 onwards. Examining nonsmoking-related (cause-specific)mortality shed new light on the mortality gender gap and revealed the important role of smoking-related cancers, the continuation of excess mortality among women aged 40–50, and a smaller role of biological factors in the sex difference than was previously estimated.
Original languageEnglish
Article number370274
Pages (from-to)1-12
JournalBioMed Research International
Volume2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • adoption of smoking
  • mortality gender gap
  • effect
  • Netherlands
  • Journal Citation Report
  • ssci

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