menu ☰
menu ˟

Comparative analysis of premature mortality among urban immigrants in Bremen, Germany: a retrospective register-based linkage study

21 Mar 2016


The main objective of this study was to explore differences in mortality patterns among two large immigrant groups in Germany: one from Turkey and the other from the former Soviet Union (FSU). To this end, we investigated indicators of premature mortality.


This study was conducted as a retrospective population-based study based on mortality register linkage. Using mortality data for the period 2004–2010, we calculated age-standardised death rates (SDR) and standardised mortality ratios (SMR) for premature deaths (

Setting and participants

In this study, we made use of the unique possibilities of register-based research in relation to migration and health. Analyses were performed in three population groups in the federal state of Bremen, Germany: immigrants from Turkey, those from the FSU and the general population.


The SDRs for premature deaths of the two immigrant groups were lower compared to those of the general population. The SMRs remained under 1. Using the indicator of YPLL, we observed higher age-standardised YPLL rates among immigrant populations, particularly among males from the FSU compared to females and population groups 4238/100 000, 95% CI (4119 to 4358). Regarding main causes of premature death, we found larger contributions of infant mortality and diseases of the respiratory system among Turkish immigrants, and of injuries and poisonings, and mental and behavioural disorders among immigrants from the FSU.


While the overall trends favour the immigrant populations, the indicator of YPLL and cause-specific results indicate areas where the healthcare systems responsiveness may need to be improved, including preventive services. Further work with broader databases providing a similar level of differentiation is necessary to substantiate these findings.

Click here to view the full article which appeared in BMJ Open