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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 64-69

Trends in life expectancy and mortality rates in Turkey as Compared to organization for economic co-operation and development countries: An analysis of vital statistics data

Department of Healthcare Management, Institute of Health Sciences, Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Veli Durmus
Marmara University, Health Science Institute, Maltepe, Istanbul
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/iahs.iahs_227_21

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Aims: In recent decades, Turkey has seen sustained improvements in life expectancy, although it has remained well below the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average level. The present study aimed to assess trends in life expectancy and mortality rates in the context of changes over a long time period (1997–2016) in Turkey relative to OECD countries. Materials and Methods: Annual demographic and mortality datasets from various official database sources were used. In this descriptive-analytic study, the general stepwise-replacement method was performed to determine the decomposition of changes between two life expectancies of the population between two time points into age-specific contributions. Sex-specific trends in life expectancy since 1997 and age-specific mortality in Turkey with median values for member states were compared. Findings: Female life expectancy in Turkey continued at the lowest level until 2005 and then caught the lower 20% bound in 2015. By contrast, male life expectancy was below this level by 2009. Since 1997, for the first time, infant mortality rates in Turkey have been remarkably low in the comparator group. All age groups contributed to the negative trend in both sexes compared to OECD countries, especially in the 15–64-year group. Conclusions: Compared to OECD countries, Turkey has shown significant improvements in life expectancy since 1997 despite large differences. Particular attention must be paid to understanding why these improvements for both sexes in Turkey have been consistently below the median value of the OECD countries. Health and social policies are needed to curb widening life expectancy inequalities.

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