What Is Premature Mortality? Trying to Reconcile Two Views

Stefano Mazzuco , Universita di Padova
Marc Suhrcke, Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER)
Lucia Zanotto, Università di Padova

What is Premature Mortality? There are two different approaches to measure it, an absolute one (setting a unique age threshold dividing deaths into premature and senescent) and a relative one (deriving the share of premature deaths from the age distribution of deaths), both having pros and cons. The main disadvantage of the absolute approach is that of using a unique threshold for different mortality patterns, while the main disadvantage of the relative approach is that the estimate of premature mortality it conveys strongly depends on how the senescent deaths distribution is defined in each country. We try to reconcile the two approaches by means of a hierarchical model, where adult deaths distribution is kept fixed for each country as a pivotal quantity and the premature mortality floats around it. In this way, adult mortality is the same for each country and premature mortality estimates are more comparable across countries.

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 Presented in Session 202. The Impact of Midlife Mortality on Population Health