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Diverging Trends in Female Old‐Age Mortality: The United States and the Netherlands versus France and Japan

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  • France Meslé
  • Jacques Vallin

Abstract

In the most advanced countries, child mortality and adult mortality under age 65 years have fallen so low that further improvement in life expectancy relies almost completely on the decline of mortality at older ages. This phenomenon is particularly pronounced among women, who are far ahead of men in survival rates. Thus, to project the future of life expectancy, this study focuses on trends in female life expectancy at ages 65 and older. Four countries are selected for this analysis: the United States, Netherlands, France, and Japan. It is particularly interesting to understand why American and Dutch trends in female old‐age mortality have been diverging from those in France and Japan for two decades. It is shown here that most of the divergence derives from the fact that decline in cardiovascular mortality is more and more offset by increases in other causes of death in the United States and the Netherlands, while the other two countries are more successful in reducing mortality from all causes at increasingly older ages. This latter phenomenon could represent a new stage of the health transition.

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  • France Meslé & Jacques Vallin, 2006. "Diverging Trends in Female Old‐Age Mortality: The United States and the Netherlands versus France and Japan," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 32(1), pages 123-145, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:popdev:v:32:y:2006:i:1:p:123-145
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1728-4457.2006.00108.x
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    1. France Meslé & Jacques Vallin, 2017. "The End of East–West Divergence in European Life Expectancies? An Introduction to the Special Issue," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 33(5), pages 615-627, December.
    2. Brian Rostron & John Wilmoth, 2011. "Estimating the Effect of Smoking on Slowdowns in Mortality Declines in Developed Countries," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 48(2), pages 461-479, May.
    3. Malene Kallestrup‐Lamb & Søren Kjærgaard & Carsten P. T. Rosenskjold, 2020. "Insight into stagnating adult life expectancy: Analyzing cause of death patterns across socioeconomic groups," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(12), pages 1728-1743, December.
    4. Magdalena Muszyñska & Roland Rau Roland, 2014. "Did Men Benefit More from Medical Progress in Recent Decades? Cause-of-Death Contributions to the Decreasing Sex-Gap in Life Expectancy in the United States," Working Papers 72, Institute of Statistics and Demography, Warsaw School of Economics.
    5. Viorela Diaconu & Nadine Ouellette & Carlo Giovanni Camarda & Robert Bourbeau, 2016. "Insight on 'typical' longevity: An analysis of the modal lifespan by leading causes of death in Canada," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 35(17), pages 471-504.
    6. Søren Kjærgaard & Yunus Emre Ergemen & Marie-Pier Bergeron Boucher & Jim Oeppen & Malene Kallestrup-Lamb, 2019. "Longevity forecasting by socio-economic groups using compositional data analysis," CREATES Research Papers 2019-08, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    7. F. Peters & J. P. Mackenbach & W. J. Nusselder, 2016. "Does the Impact of the Tobacco Epidemic Explain Structural Changes in the Decline of Mortality?," European Journal of Population, Springer;European Association for Population Studies, vol. 32(5), pages 687-702, December.
    8. Brian L. Rostron, 2010. "A modified new method for estimating smoking-attributable mortality in high-income countries," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 23(14), pages 399-420.
    9. S⊘ren Kjærgaard & Yunus Emre Ergemen & Marie‐Pier Bergeron‐Boucher & Jim Oeppen & Malene Kallestrup‐Lamb, 2020. "Longevity forecasting by socio‐economic groups using compositional data analysis," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 183(3), pages 1167-1187, June.
    10. Viorela Diaconu & Nadine Ouellette & Robert Bourbeau, 2020. "Modal lifespan and disparity at older ages by leading causes of death: a Canada-U.S. comparison," Journal of Population Research, Springer, vol. 37(4), pages 323-344, December.
    11. Mackenbach, Johan P., 2013. "Political conditions and life expectancy in Europe, 1900–2008," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 134-146.
    12. Malene Kallestrup-Lamb & Søren Kjærgaard & Carsten P. T. Rosenskjold, 2019. "Insight into Stagnating Life Expectancy: Analysing Cause of Death Patterns across Socio-economic Groups," CREATES Research Papers 2019-20, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    13. Dennis M. Feehan, 2018. "Separating the Signal From the Noise: Evidence for Deceleration in Old-Age Death Rates," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 55(6), pages 2025-2044, December.

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