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Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 2003;57:200-206 © 2003 BMJ Publishing Group

Life table methods for quantitative impact assessments in chronic mortality

B G Miller and J F Hurley
Institute of Occupational Medicine, Edinburgh, UK
Correspondence to: Dr B G Miller, Institute of Occupational Medicine, 8 Roxburgh Place, Edinburgh EH8 9SU, UK;
Quantitative health impact assessments of chronic mortality,where the impacts are expected to be observed over a numberof years, are complicated by the link between death rates andsurviving populations. A general calculation framework for quantitativeimpact assessment is presented, based on standard life tablecalculation methods, which permits consistent future projectionsof impacts on mortality from changes in death rates. Implementedas a series of linked spreadsheets, the framework offers completeflexibility in the sex specific, age specific, and year specificpatterns of baseline mortality death rates; in the predictedimpacts upon these; in the weights or values placed on gainsin life; and in the summary measures of impact. Impacts canbe differential by cause of death. Some examples are given ofpredictions of the impacts of reductions in chronic mortalityin the populations of England and Wales and of Scotland.

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