Original Research

Trends of Mortality in Greece Prior to and During its Current Financial Crisis (2009–2015)

Konstantinos Z. Vardakas, Katerina N. Apiranthiti, Spiridoula E. Almpani, Dominiki Heliou, Dimitra Stratigopoulou, Eleni Giourmetaki, Dimitra Lamprou, Georgia Binou, Elena Mpaltzoglou, Margarita Kyriakidou, and Matthew E. Falagas


Objectives: To study mortality changes in Greece prior to and during the financial crisis. Study design: Analysis of data by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (1955–2013). Results: During the crisis, mortality increased from 9.76/1000 in 2009 to 10.52/1000 in 2012 and to 11.16/1000 in 2015, driven by an increase in the number of deaths and a decrease in the estimated population. The annual increase of the expected mortality accelerated during the crisis; in contrast, age-adjusted mortality continued to decrease up to 2014 and increased in 2015. The subpopulations that seemed to be affected more during the crisis were the elderly (especially those over 70 years), women, and citizens in southern Greece. The common denominator of all these subgroups was older age. Mortality due to heart diseases continued to decline at an accelerated pace, due to neoplasia continuing to increase at an accelerated pace and due to a reversal in the rate of stroke (from decline to increment). Conclusions: The increment of crude mortality during the financial crisis in Greece should be attributed to the increase in deaths, only in part due to the aging population, the reduction in births, and the increase in emigration that contracted the population.

Rambam Maimonides Med J 2019;10(3):e0015