, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 149-167
Date: 29 Sep 2012

Modelling small-area inequality in premature mortality using years of life lost rates

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Abstract

Analysis of premature mortality variations via standardized expected years of life lost (SEYLL) measures raises questions about suitable modelling for mortality data, especially when developing SEYLL profiles for areas with small populations. Existing fixed effects estimation methods take no account of correlations in mortality levels over ages, causes, socio-ethnic groups or areas. They also do not specify an underlying data generating process, or a likelihood model that can include trends or correlations, and are likely to produce unstable estimates for small-areas. An alternative strategy involves a fully specified data generation process, and a random effects model which “borrows strength” to produce stable SEYLL estimates, allowing for correlations between ages, areas and socio-ethnic groups. The resulting modelling strategy is applied to gender-specific differences in SEYLL rates in small-areas in NE London, and to cause-specific mortality for leading causes of premature mortality in these areas.