Reductions in mortality at advanced ages: several decades of evidence from 27 countries


Journal Article

Can death rates be reduced for octogenarians, nonagenarians, and even centenarians? It is widely assumed that mortality at advanced ages is attributable to old age per se and that death rates at advanced ages cannot be substantially reduced. Using a larger body of data than previously available, the authors find that developed countries have made progress in reducing death rates even at the highest ages. Furthermore, the pace of this progress has accelerated over the course of the twentieth century. In most developed countries outside Eastern Europe, average death rates at ages 80-99 have declined at a rate of 1 to 2% per year for females and 0.5 to 1.5% per year for males since the 1960s. For an aggregate of nine countries with reliable data through 1991, the annual average rate of improvement between 1982-86 and 1987-91 was 1.7% for male octogenarians and 2.5% for female octogenarians. -Authors

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Kannisto, V; Lauritsen, J; Thatcher, AR; Vaupel, JW

Published Date

  • January 1, 1994

Published In

  • Population &Amp; Development Review

Volume / Issue

  • 20 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 793 - 810

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.2307/2137662

Citation Source

  • Scopus