Objectives In the first decade of the 21st century, the Mexican life expectancy changed from a long trend of increase to stagnation. These changes concur with an increase in deaths by homicides that the country experienced in that decade, and an obesity epidemic that had developed over the last decades of the 20th century. We quantify the impact of causes of death on life expectancy from 2000 to 2010.
Methods Two approaches to analyse causes of death are used: the number of life years lost due to each of the causes of death in a given year, and cause-decomposition techniques for comparisons of life expectancy from 2000 to 2010.
Results The apparent stagnation in life expectancy is the result of an increase in deaths by homicides and diabetes mellitus on the one hand, and the positive improvements observed in other causes of death on the other. The negative impact of homicides is particularly observed for ages 15 and 50, and for that of diabetes mellitus at ages above 45 years.
Conclusions There is little basis for optimism regarding the future scenarios of the health of the Mexican population based on the first decade of the 21st century. Male life expectancy would have increased by 2 years if deaths by homicides and diabetes mellitus had been avoided.
- DEVELOPING COUNTR
- INTERNATIONAL HLTH
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