An integrative approach to health transition: trends in mortality and nutritional status in Spain during the 20th Century

Antonio D. Cámara, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Jeroen J.A. Spijker, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Amand Blanes, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Julio Perez Diaz, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

This paper proposes a comprehensive approach to the study of long-term trends in health and mortality during the transition to modern society. Our objective is to analyse the Spanish case during the 20th century using survival and nutritional-related indicators by age, sex and cohort. Age- and cause-specific mortality patterns are analysed together with the trends in nutritional status provided by the anthropometric indicator of height elaborated for the whole of the country. Data sources include national census, vital statistics, National Health Surveys and the Human Mortality Database. In the interpretation of trends, specific attention is devoted to long-term cycles as well as to cohort and sex differences according different historical contexts. Altogether, political, socioeconomic and lifestyle changes have been determinant for the different nutritional markers and mortality patterns during specific periods of the Spanish health transition.

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Presented in Session 32: The health transition in the 19th/20th century: historical approaches