Socioeconomic condition, health and mortality from birth to young adult age, Italy 19th and 20th centuries

Lucia Pozzi, Università degli Studi di Sassari
Marco Breschi, Università degli Studi di Sassari
Alessio Fornasin, Università degli studi di Udine
Matteo Manfredini, Università degli Studi di Parma
Paola Melis, Università degli Studi di Sassari
Stanislao Mazzoni, University of Sassari

The principal aim of this paper is to investigate the role of socioeconomic status on health condition and mortality between birth and young-adult age in four Italian communities located respectively in the North Eastern Alps (Friuli), in a rural area of Tuscany and in the island of Sardinia, one along the coast and the other one in the inland area. The communities are very different in terms of environmental context, and socioeconomic characteristics. The data at our disposal come from both civil and parish records and cover a long span between the first decades of the 19th Century and 1940. Since both census and vital data were used, it is possible to follow individuals of three generations from birth to young- adult age (around 25 years). The sources provide also socioeconomic data at the family level. Finally, information concerning conscripts were collected as well. In view of information richness of the military documentation (occupation, anthropometric data, health status,and education), the analysis will be focused on the male population. Besides the analysis of the selection process from birth to young adult age, these data allow us to assess the death risk between 20 and 25 years taking into account health condition and socioeconomic status at enrolment as well as information on father’s health status at his own enrolment. The comparative analysis of different populations entails many difficulties but, at the same time, it opens new perspectives. For instance, it allows us to analyse the effects that different climates had on survival from the birth during the epidemiological transition. The ability to cope with adverse or extreme climatic conditions were in fact mediated by cultural and socioeconomic factors. The information provided by our dataset permit therefore to check who and when was first able to face climatic constraints effectively within each population.

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Presented in Session 35: General Trends in Mortality and Disability