Background Population aging creates rising need for health care. We estimated deaths caused by population aging between 1990 and 2017 in China.
Methods Deaths from 1990 to 2017 were extracted from Global Burden of Diseases (GBD) 2017 estimates. We decomposed changes in deaths between two given years into the contribution of changes caused by three distinct factors: population size, population aging, and age-specific mortality.
Results The number of deaths attributed to population aging increased from 85,737 in 1990 to 5,719,591 in 2017. Between 1990 and 2017, deaths attributed to population aging increased by 71.8% in men and by 68.4% in women. The top three diseases most affected by population aging were stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and ischemic heart disease for both genders. Population aging caused an increase of 141,466 injury deaths between 1990 and 2017 in China (81,447 for men; 60,019 for women). Mortality reductions partially balanced the increased death burden from population aging between 1990 and 2017, -3,056,547 vs. 5,719,591.
Conclusion More efforts are needed to reduce mortality and balance the increasing death burden from population aging.
Learning Outcomes Population aging caused an increase in number of deaths from 1990 to 2017 in China. Mortality reduction partially counteracted the death burden from population aging.
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