Cause-of-death diversity from a multiple-cause perspective in the US

Sergi Trias-Llimós, Centre d'Estudis Demogràfics
Iñaki Permanyer, Centre for Demographic Studies

The dispersion of deaths across underlying causes of death has increased over the last two decades. We contribute to the debate of cause-of-death diversity by proposing and measuring it in the more general ‘Multiple Causes of Death’ (MCOD) settings in 2003-18. Our approach is an adaptation of popular approaches commonly applied to assess heterogeneity in human societies or animal ecosystems. Cause-of-death diversity increased in the studied period, and especially up to 2012. These trends were driven by increases in ages 65 and over. The inclusion of MCOD resulted in higher increases in cause-of-death diversity over time compared to merely using underlying causes of death, except for older men where no differences were observed. The observed increases in cause-of-death diversity should be monitored to better understand mortality dynamics in ageing populations. Our new MCOD diversity measures suggest that traditional approaches relying on single causes of death might be underestimating cause-of-death diversity dynamics.

Keywords: Mortality, Decomposition analysis/methods

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session 20. Mortality and Causes of Death