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"Longer life expectancy and smaller elderly population in Iranian women: an explanation "

Author(s): Ahmadi B. | Farzadi F. | Shariati B. | Alimohamadian M. | Mohammad K.

Journal: Journal of School of Public Health and Institute of Public Health Research
ISSN 1735-7586

Volume: 4;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Keywords: Population pyramid

Background and Aim: Looking at population pyramid from the 1996 census and its estimates for the years 2003 and 2004, it is clear that the size of the elderly population will be greater in men than in women. According to Iran’s Ministry of Health, the life expectancy for women is greater than that for men. This article is devoted to the discussion and analysis of this paradox. Materials and Methods: Analysis of the population sex ratio. Results: Its trend- based on data generated by censuses from 1956 to 1996- indicate that a large proportion of women did not live beyond the age of 35; women were most likely to die in years 35-45 of their life. It is possible that this age group, which included many women who were still of reproductive age, suffered the effects of war and socioeconomic crises of the 1940's. The trend had improved by the time of the 1376 census and there is no singe of an increase in the sex ratio thereafter. This change is probably due to the improvement in socioeconomic status and the development of an effective health care system. Conclusion: Since the life expectancy estimates are based on the probability of death and are thus affected by socioeconomic conditions, the apparent incompatibility between the population age pyramid and life expectancy among elderly women and men is due to higher mortality among women of reproductive age before the 1970’s.
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