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Race and Older Age Mortality: Evidence from Union Army Veterans

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  • Dora L. Costa

Abstract

This paper uses the records of the Union Army to compare the older age mortality experience of the first black and white cohorts who reached middle and late ages in the twentieth century. Blacks faced a greater risk of death from all causes, especially in large cities, from infectious and parasitic diseases, from genito-urinary disease, and from heart disease, particularly valvular heart disease. Blacks' greater risk of death was the result both of the worse conditions in which they lived at the time of their deaths and of their lifelong poorer nutritional status and higher incidence of infectious disease. Compared to the 1821-40 black cohort, the 1841-50 black cohort was both under greater stress at a young age and had higher older age mortality rates.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10902.

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Date of creation: Nov 2004
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10902

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  1. Samuel H. Preston & Michael R. Haines, 1991. "Fatal Years: Child Mortality in Late Nineteenth-Century America," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number pres91-1, octubre-d.
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  8. Dora L. Costa, 2002. "The Measure of Man and Older Age Mortality: Evidence from the Gould Sample," NBER Working Papers 8843, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  10. John Komlos, 1992. "Toward an Anthropometric History of African-Americans: The Case of the Free Blacks in Antebellum Maryland," NBER Chapters, in: Strategic Factors in Nineteenth Century American Economic History: A Volume to Honor Robert W. Fogel, pages 297-329 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2008. "Learning from the Past," NBER Chapters, in: Heroes and Cowards: The Social Face of War National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Bodenhorn, Howard, 1999. "A Troublesome Caste: Height and Nutrition of Antebellum Virginia's Rural Free Blacks," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(04), pages 972-996, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Logan, Trevon D., 2009. "Health, human capital, and African-American migration before 1910," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 169-185, April.

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