Convergence or divergence of health trends in Germany: analysing the risk profile of young people with the German microcensus
Christina Westphal, University of Rostock
Gabriele Doblhammer-Reiter, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Since the 1990s, life expectancy in the East has increased rapidly and is nearly at the same level of West Germany Analyzing the risk profile of children and young adults it should be examined if this converging trend is continuing. Therefore, the risk factors smoking and obesity are analysed for the age group 0-29. Used data is the German Microcensus for the years 1995, 1999, 2003 and 2005.Multivariate models are applied to assess differences in risk factor profiles between East and West Germany and between regions within Germany. Cohort-analysis is performed in order to control for age and cohort effects. Results on smoking show considerable differences in the prevalence of smoking between East and West Germany with a smoking prevalence almost twice as high in the East, suggesting that smoking is the main factor contributing to future differences in life expectancy between East and West Germany.