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Regional Differences in Life Expectancy in Germany at County Levels and their Possible Determinants

Latzitis N, Sundmacher L, Busse R
Gesundheitswesen 73(4): 217-228 (DOI: 10.1055/s-0030-1252035)




The aim of this study is to show health differences at a county level in Germany and to identify possible reasons for these differences. The study calculates life expectancy as being representative for the health status. The analytical part of the study uses a wide database with socioeconomic, environmental, educational and health-care data. In a first step, the set of variables is reduced by a factor analysis and three factors are generated (socioeconomic conditions, environment, health-care). Secondly, a cluster analysis is used to show the regional distribution of the gained factors and thirdly a regression analysis is used to show the influence of the three factors on life expectancy. The results of the regression analysis show that socioeconomic conditions have the greatest influence on health status. Because of this, preventive health-care measures should integrate an improvement of socioeconomic conditions.

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