Estimating life expectancy free of anxiety/depression in Argentina: trends and decomposition of demographic change, 2005-2018

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This study presents estimates of life expectancy free of anxiety/depression (a health expectancy) for the adult population in Argentina and observes its evolution during the 2005-2018 period. Given that life expectancy and health expectancy are strongly correlated indicators, we decomposed the change of the latter over time to establish not only which component causes its variation, but also which age groups contributed the most to this change. We analyzed crosssectional data of the presence of anxiety/depression symptoms using multiple waves (2005, 2009, 2013 and 2018) of the Argentine National Risk Factor Survey (ENFR) and computed a series of anxiety/depression free life expectancies (conditional on those who reached age 20), by using the Sullivan method. Later we applied a stepwise algorithm decomposition technique to determine if the change in the health expectancy was due to a mortality change or a morbidity change. We obtained that the health expectancies increased between 2005 and 2013, and decreased for 2013-2018. This variation was larger for females, where a change in morbidity was responsible for almost all improvements before 2013. The decomposition also suggested that the net impact on morbidity would be larger if not for an increase in overall life expectancy between 2013-2018, with a one-year decline in health expectancy for males and 1.7 years for females, driven mainly by the younger age groups. It is not clear yet if such negative change is transitory or the beginning of a new trend in mental health for the Argentinian population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0199
JournalRevista Brasileira de Estudos de Populacao
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Argentina
  • Health expectancy
  • Mathematical concepts
  • Mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography


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