The modernization of seniors in the context of causes of death
Jadwiga BIEGANSKA, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Faculty of Earth Sciences and Spatial Management, Department of Urban and Regional Development Studies, Poland
Elzbieta GRZELAK-KOSTULSKA, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Faculty of Earth Sciences and Spatial Management, Department of Urban and Regional Development Studies, Poland
Stefania SRODA-MURAWSKA, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Faculty of Earth Sciences and Spatial Management, Department of Urban and Regional Development Studies, Poland
Leszek DABROWSKI, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Doctoral School of Social Sciences, Poland
Pawel SMOLINSKI, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun, Doctoral School of Social Sciences, Poland
Research on the evolution of mortality in Poland—considered from the perspective of long-term changes or from the point of view of identifying the progress of the epidemiological transition in comparison with other countries—constitutes a rather narrow problem area. In a broader perspective—with reference to Central and Eastern European countries—this issue has been analysed by: Meslé (2004), Vallin and Meslé (2004), Caselli et al. (2002), Zatonski and Boyle (1996), among others.
The research conducted allowed for the confirmation of changes in the structure of causes of death, testifying to progressive modernising transformations. The first step included Factor Analysis. Subsequently, the classification of the analysed countries in terms of causes of death was performed, in which the Cluster Analysis method was applied.
The changes that are taking place in the elderly population should be considered consistent with the direction characteristic of the progressive epidemiological transition as formulated by Olshansky and Ault (1986):
- Poland’s position in the group of countries where similar causes of death dominate has been determined; this has made it possible to identify the progress of modernizing transformations of seniors. It has been established that, for women, Poland can be identified as a region where the advancement of modernizing transformations is consistent with the phase of degenerative and man-made diseases, although the duration of life and decrease in the number of cardiovascular diseases suggest that a transition to the phase of delayed degenerative diseases is taking place. In the case of the male population, there is a delay of modernization in Poland in comparison to Western European countries;
- a progressive extension of life expectancy has been shown. In accordance with the rectangularization of the survival curve, an evolution in mortality in Poland favorable for women can be confirmed.
Keywords: modernization|seniors|demography|demographic transition|Poland