Revista médica de Chile
versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887
Background: Mortality data of a community allow to identify its severest diseases and health problems. Aim: To report epidemiologic data on Chilean mortality. Material and methods: Information about mortality was obtained from the World Health Organization, Pan American Health Organization, the Chilean Institute of Statistics and Ministry of Health. Results: A continuously declining trend in the risk of dying during the last 30 years was observed. Chile has the best situation among South American countries. Infant and general mortality rates fell in 89 and 39%, respectively, during the period 1970-2003. This reduction is observed in all Chilean geographical regions. At the county level, there are 11 counties that duplicate the figure of mortality of the 337 other counties. In the case of infant mortality, there are 91 counties that duplicate the national figure, indicating an important inequity. Mortality is significantly associated with population aging, availability and use of hospital beds. There is a lower level of association with the proportion of population living in urban areas and poverty levels. A projection until 2010 shows and increasing mortality caused by malignant tumors and diabetes and a declining trend for circulatory, respiratory and digestive diseases and accidental deaths. Conclusions: Mortality has been managed efficiently in Chile but future trends underscore the need for cancer and diabetes prevention and management programs
Palabras clave : Diabetes mellitus; Life expectancy; Mortality; Neoplasms; Vital statistics.