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Mortality Increase in Late-Middle and Early-Old Age: Heterogeneity in Death Processes as a New Explanation

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  • Ting Li

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  • Yang Yang
  • James Anderson
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    Abstract

    Deviations from the Gompertz law of exponential mortality increases in late-middle and early-old age are commonly neglected in overall mortality analyses. In this study, we examined mortality increase patterns between ages 40 and 85 in 16 low-mortality countries and demonstrated sex differences in these patterns, which also changed across period and cohort. These results suggest that the interaction between aging and death is more complicated than what is usually assumed from the Gompertz law and also challenge existing biodemographic hypotheses about the origin and mechanisms of sex differences in mortality. We propose a two-mortality model that explains these patterns as the change in the composition of intrinsic and extrinsic death rates with age. We show that the age pattern of overall mortality and the population heterogeneity therein are possibly generated by multiple dynamics specified by a two-mortality model instead of a uniform process throughout most adult ages. Copyright Population Association of America 2013

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s13524-013-0222-4
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Springer in its journal Demography.

    Volume (Year): 50 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 5 (October)
    Pages: 1563-1591

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:demogr:v:50:y:2013:i:5:p:1563-1591

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    Web page: http://www.springer.com/economics/journal/13524

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    Related research

    Keywords: Mortality acceleration; Sex differences; Two-mortality processes; Vitality;

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    1. Diderichsen, Finn, 1990. "Health and social inequities in Sweden," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 359-367, January.
    2. Waldron, Ingrid, 1983. "Sex differences in human mortality: The role of genetic factors," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 321-333, January.
    3. James Vaupel & Kenneth Manton & Eric Stallard, 1979. "The impact of heterogeneity in individual frailty on the dynamics of mortality," Demography, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 439-454, August.
    4. Samuel Preston & Haidong Wang, 2006. "Sex mortality differences in The United States: The role of cohort smoking patterns," Demography, Springer, vol. 43(4), pages 631-646, November.
    5. Fogel, Robert W, 1994. "Economic Growth, Population Theory, and Physiology: The Bearing of Long-Term Processes on the Making of Economic Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 369-95, June.
    6. John Bongaarts, 2005. "Long-range trends in adult mortality: Models and projection methods," Demography, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 23-49, February.
    7. Shiro Horiuchi & John Wilmoth, 1998. "Deceleration in the age pattern of mortality at olderages," Demography, Springer, vol. 35(4), pages 391-412, November.
    8. Yang Yang, 2008. "Trends in U.S. adult chronic disease mortality, 1960–1999: age, period, and cohort variations," Demography, Springer, vol. 45(2), pages 387-416, May.
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