Department of Public Health and Mortality Studies
International Institute for Population Sciences
Mortality and Morbidity in the Indian Subcontinent and
Selected Developed Countries: Perspectives, Contrast and
Subrata Lahiri (India) is Professor and Head of
the Department of Public Health & Mortality Studies,
International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS),
Mumbai, India. His teaching and/or research interests are
(i) Mathematical Demography and Actuarial Methods; (ii)
Techniques of Mortality Analysis for countries with limited
and defective data; (iii) Gender role in fertility preferences
and accompanying sex-preferences among Indian couples; and
(iv) Social & Demographic Aspects of HIV/AIDS in India.
He has published widely on mortality & public health
and issues related to fertility preferences in national
and international journals of repute.
Dr. Lahiri obtained the Master degree in Statistics with
specialization in Demography, and the Doctorate Degree from
the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata (Calcutta). He
was the recipient of a Rockefeller postdoctoral fellowship
for one and half years during 1987-88, to carry out research
in 'Formal Demography and Mortality Analysis' at the Population
Studies Center, University of Pennsylvania, in collaboration
with Professor Samuel H. Preston.
Dr. Lahiri served as the Coordinator and Resource Person
for various short-term training programmes on a variety
of issues related to the Population Studies organized at
IIPS, Mumbai for officials from India and abroad sponsored
by both national organizations (CSO, NSSO, and UGC) and
international organizations (UNFPA, WHO, ILO, UNICEF), as
well as Government and non-Government organizations from
Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. Prof. Lahiri has also
worked as a consultant at the national and international
levels to prepare the project report on 'Estimating Life
Expectancy in Rural India' sponsored by the National Institute
of Rural Development, Hyderabad, India, and a report on
"Awareness and Knowledge on HIV/AIDS among Indian Women"
sponsored by the East-West Center (EWC), Honolulu, Hawaii.
He is also a co-editor of "Sankhya" an Indian
Journal of Statistics of international repute and holds
membership in various national and international scientific
· Subrata Lahiri, Arni S. R. Rao, and S. Srinivasan.
(2000) Role of Age-Specific Growth Rates on Population Ageing
in Some Developed and Developing Countries -- A Comparative
Study. Revised Version presented in an IUSSP sponsored Workshop
on Age Structural Transitions and Policy Implications
held at Phuket, Thailand, Nov. 8-10.
· Subrata Lahiri, and Lysander Menezes. (2000) A
Census-Based Method of Estimating Longevity at Adult Ages
in Destabilized Populations. Presented in the Annual Meeting
of the Population Association of America, Los Angeles during
· Subrata Lahiri, and A. S. R. Srinivasa Rao. (1998)
Sex-Differentials in Mortality Decline in India and its
Major States over the Periods 1981-85 and 1991-93. IASSI
Quarterly, Vol.16, No.3 & 4, pp.32-52.
· Deborah Balk, and Subrata Lahiri (1997). "Awareness
and Knowledge of AIDS Among Indian Women: Evidence from
13 States. In Health Transition Review, Supplement
to Vol.7, 1997 pp.421-465 (see also East-West Center
Working Papers, Population Series No. 83, East-West
Center, Hawaii, USA: August 1996).
· Samuel H. Preston, and Subrata Lahiri. (1991) A
short-cut Method for Estimating Death Registration Completeness
in Destabilized Populations. Mathematical Population
Studies, vol.3, No.1.
Mortality and Morbidity in Indian Subcontinent and Selected
Developed Countries: Perspectives, Contrasts, and Challenges
The present research proposal has been prepared after reviewing
the mortality situation in the more developed and less developed
regions during the twentieth century and the problems associated
in obtaining sufficiently good morbidity data, particularly
in less developed regions. In the second half of the twentieth
century the world as a whole experienced much faster mortality
decline. At global level, the life expectancy at birth increased
from 46.5 years during 1950-55 to 64.1 during 1990-95. In
other words at global level, a gain of 17.6 years of life
was observed over a period of 40 years since 1950-55. However,
the less developed region had experienced much impressive
mortality decline over the aforesaid periods due to spectacular
improvement in medical sciences, and increased general awareness
of various public health measures, and better hygiene. In
the less developed region, the life expectancy at birth
increased by more than fifty percent, that is, increasing
from 40.9 years in 1950-55 to an estimated 61.9 years in
1990-95. And consequently the gap in longevity between less
developed and more developed regions decreased from 25 years
during 1950-55 to 12 years during 1990-95. The following
observations are worth noting in the context of assessing
the extent and impact of mortality transition. In 1950-55
there were only five countries with life expectancy at birth
70 years or more, whereas during 1990-95 this number became
74 which represent 40 per cent of the countries in the world
accounting for 22 per cent of the world population. At the
other end of the ladder, during 1950-55 there were 81 countries
with life expectancy below 45 years that reduced to 11 countries
during 1990-95. These 11 countries account for less than
one per cent of the world population.
The morbidity statistics are in general more deficient
worldwide than the mortality statistics. It is needless
emphasized that the morbidity statistics are more deficient
in the less developed regions than the more developed regions.
However, after the Alma Ata declaration on 'Health for All
by 2000 A.D', and particularly after the International Conference
on Population Development at Cairo many national governments
of various developing countries have taken serious steps
to improve upon the general health situation of their countrymen.
It is generally believed that the level of morbidity of
a community is closely (positively) associated to the level
of mortality. Since in general the morbidity statistics
in India and other developing countries are primarily based
on perceived or reported sickness rather than clinically
tested cases, such an association should be interpreted
very carefully. Furthermore, such a perception is highly
influenced by their knowledge about the sickness, and also
by their heath seeking behaviour, which are very much associated
with the educational attainment, and socio-economic conditions
of the respondents, and the environmental surroundings as
well of the respondents in which they belong. It is quite
possible that the highly educated persons are likely to
be more conscious about their health status, and thereby
the reporting of morbidity could be much higher compared
to poorly educated persons.
Keeping in mind the above observations it is proposed in
this study to examine the level, trends, and pattern of
mortality and morbidity after 1970 in the Indian subcontinent
along with few developed countries, such as, Japan, USA,
and Australia. Attempts will also be made to identify the
determinants of the changes in mortality and morbidity after
1970 in these countries. Furthermore, an attempt will also
be made to assess the impact of HIV/AIDS on the adult mortality
in the Indian subcontinent. This research project will be
carried out in collaboration with Dr. Shripad Tuljapurkar,
Morrison Professor of Population Studies, Professor of Biological
Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, USA.
|NCS Scholars, Midterm Meeting, Mexico.
|NCS Scholars Lori Leonard and Seggane Musisi during first Global Health Summer Course Meeting.
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