Centenarian Survival: Stagnating of Improving?

Jesus-Adrian Alvarez , Interdisciplinary Centre on Population Dynamics, University of Southern Denmark
James W. Vaupel, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research and Max Planck Odense Center on the Biodemography of Aging

Centenarians are the forerunners of longevity. They have emerged as a consequence of reductions in the risk of dying at young ages. Still, it is not clear-cut if these individuals are living longer and how their outstanding survival trajectories are mirrored on aggregate measures such as life expectancy at age 100 (e100). Here we present the case of four female populations in which mortality above age 100 is improving across cohorts. At population level, mortality hazards decline and e100 alongside measures of lifespan variability are trending upwards, indicating that lifespans among centenarians are highly malleable and very heterogeneous. However, we also show that deaths are not declining at the same pace for all the members of the population since, when controlling for unobserved heterogeneity, individual mortality improves more rapidly than what is observed in the aggregate level. This indicates that unobserved heterogeneity prevents populations from further mortality declines.

See paper

 Presented in Session 182. Age Patterns of Mortality