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DONDENA Seminar Series Spring 2023 - José Manuel Aburto


You may follow the seminar online via ZOOM Meetings at the following link:

"Unequal trends in causes of death drive life-expectancy differences during COVID-19"



 Analyses of life expectancy are important and informative in the context of the pandemic because they allow comparisons of mortality conditions over time and across countries. However, most studies rely on all-cause mortality, and few of them quantify to what extent COVID-19 deaths contributed to  observed life-expectancy changes during the pandemic years. Analysis of other causes of death (e.g. cardiovascular diseases, cancers, suicides) and their contribution to life-expectancy changes contribute to existing research by uncovering the indirect pathways through which the pandemic has affected mortality and population health. Using decomposition methods, we quantify age- and cause-specific contributions to life-expectancy changes in nine countries during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic (2019–2020). We compare these contributions to the corresponding the five years before the pandemic (2015–2019) to identify whether and how existing patterns of life-expectancy changes were shifted.


José Manuel Aburto is Brass Blacker Associate Professor of Demography at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and holds the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship at the Leverhulme Centre for Demographic Science at the University of Oxford, where he also previously held the British Academy Newton International Fellowship. He also holds research appointment at University of Southern Denmark, where he got his PhD in 2020.


He works on mathematical demography development and substantially has studied mortality patterns in Latina America documenting the impact of violence on population health. More recently, his work has focused on the quantification of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on excess mortality and life-expectancy losses.


His work has appeared in more than 40 peer-reviewed publications in top-tier journals including Demography, Population Studies, Health Affairs, American Journal of Public Health, International Journal of Epidemiology, World Development, and general science outlets such as Nature Communications, Nature Human Behaviour, Science Advances and PNAS. Last year he was awarded the Silver Medal from the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters and in 2021 he received the European Demographer Award in the category of promising and upcoming researcher by Population Europe. He is a member of the Editorial Boards of three of the top journals in the field: Demography, Population Studies, and the International Journal of Epidemiology.


Co-organized with CERGAS - Centre for Research on Health and Social Care Management