Public-health targets for mortality improvements

(Aug 20, 2008)

Public-health officials typically allocate their resources using evidence-based methods. They know their annual budget for spending on health measures, and they typically want to save as many lives as they can with that fixed budget. A first step when looking at how to allocate resources would be to see the distribution of deaths by age, as shown below for males in the United Kingdom between 2004 and 2006:

Deaths at each year of age

From the above graph it would seem to make sense to allocate resources to diseases and ailments of old age, since this is where the vast bulk of deaths are in modern societies. However, public-health officials also know that saving the life of a new-born child is better than saving the life of a centenarian, if forů

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Tags: mortality improvements, years of life lost

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