Projecting the Effect of Changes in Smoking and Obesity on Future Life Expectancy in the United States
AbstractWe project the effects of declining smoking and increasing obesity on mortality in the United States over the period 2010-2040. Data on cohort behavioral histories are integrated into these projections. Future distributions of body mass indices are projected using transition matrices applied to the initial distribution in 2010. In addition to projections of current obesity, we project distributions of obesity when cohorts were age 25. To these distributions we apply death rates by current and age-25 obesity status observed in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988-2006. Projections of the effects of smoking are based on observed relations between cohort smoking patterns and cohort death rates from lung cancer. We find that both changes in smoking and in obesity are expected to have large effects on mortality. For males, the reductions in smoking have larger effects than the rise in obesity throughout the projection period. By 2040, male life expectancy at age 40 is expected to have gained 0.92 years from the combined effects. Among women, however, the two sets of effects largely offset one another throughout the projection period, with a small gain of 0.26 years expected by 2040.
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Date of creation: Sep 2012
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- I0 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General
- I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
- I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Production
- I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
- J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
- J11 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Demographic Trends, Macroeconomic Effects, and Forecasts
- J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-09-30 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEM-2012-09-30 (Demographic Economics)
- NEP-HEA-2012-09-30 (Health Economics)
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- Neil Mehta & Virginia Chang, 2009. "Mortality attributable to obesity among middle-aged adults in the united states," Demography, Springer, vol. 46(4), pages 851-872, November.
- Charles L. Baum & Shin-Yi Chou, 2011. "The Socio-Economic Causes of Obesity," NBER Working Papers 17423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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