The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) reports life expectancy at birth (LE) for each year in the United States. Censal year estimates of LE use complete life tables. From 1900 through 1947, LEs for intercensal years were interpolated from decennial life tables and annual crude death rates. Since 1948, estimates have been computed from annual life tables. A substantial drop in variation in LE occurred in the 1940s. To evaluate these methods and examine variation without artifacts of different methods, we estimated a consistent series of both annual abridged life tables and LEs from official NCHS age-specific death rates and also LEs using the interpolation method for 1900-1998. Interpolated LEs are several times as variable as life table estimates, about 2 times as variable before 1940 and about 6.5 times as variable after 1950. Estimates of LE from annual life tables are better measures than those based on the mixed methods detailed in NCHS reports. Estimates from life tables show that the impact of the 1918 influenza pandemic on LE was much smaller than indicated by official statistics. We conclude that NCHS should report official estimates of intercensal LE for 1900-1948 computed from life tables in place of the existing LEs that were computed by interpolation.
"In the Unites States of America, life expectancy increased from an average of 44.8/47.8 (men/women) years in 1900 to an average of 73.9/79.4 years in 1998 (Smith and Bradshaw, 2006), owing mainly to the development of treatments of infectious diseases and the management of cardiovascular disorders and cancers (Guyer et al., 2000). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This paper provides an overview of the Saguenay Youth Study (SYS) and its parental arm. The overarching goal of this effort is to develop trans-generational models of developmental cascades contributing to the emergence of common chronic disorders, such as depression, addictions, dementia and cardio-metabolic diseases. Over the past 10 years, we have acquired detailed brain and cardio-metabolic phenotypes, and genome-wide genotypes, in 1029 adolescents recruited in a population with a known genetic founder effect. At present, we are extending this dataset to acquire comparable phenotypes and genotypes in the biological parents of these individuals. After providing conceptual background for this work (transactions across time, systems and organs), we describe briefly the tools employed in the adolescent arm of this cohort and highlight some of the initial accomplishments. We then outline in detail the phenotyping protocol used to acquire comparable data in the parents.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We reviewed period and cohort mortality for tuberculosis and influenza and pneumonia over the twentieth century and data on the roles of influenza and tuberculosis as underlying and contributory causes of death. As would be consistent with long-term trends, each cohort had lower tuberculosis mortality but there was no decisive downturn in age specific tuberculosis mortality for any male cohort until after 1945. Tuberculosis mortality among females fell steadily from cohort to cohort as well as within each cohort. In every cohort born from around 1890 to around 1930, tuberculosis mortality was higher among women than among men at ages under 30, suggesting that prevalence in women was also higher, but death rates of females crossed under those of males at about age 30. Tuberculosis death rates rose more for males than females around 1918; however, any unusual increase that could be attributable to the 1918 influenza pandemic must have been brief. Contrary to expectations in the medical community, tuberculosis mortality did not rise following the 1918 influenza pandemic. Some portion of the rise in death rates around 1918 may have been associated with the influenza, but a comparison of the increase in male tuberculosis mortality during and after World War II, when there was no influenza pandemic, with male mortality in a similar period during and after World War I suggests that any excess in tuberculosis mortality among males in both periods may have been due to wartime mobilization rather than influenza.
Biodemography and Social Biology 02/2008; 54(1):74-94. DOI:10.1080/19485565.2008.9989133 · 1.37 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There was a sharp, persistent drop in annual variation in life expectancy at birth in the United States between 1940 and 1950.
To evaluate the possible relationship of this drop to the introduction of antimicrobial agents, we examined standardized death
rates (SDR) and life expectancy (LE) in the United States and in England and Wales, both of which participated in the discovery
and development of antimicrobials, especially penicillin, during this period. Annual variation in life expectancy and directly
standardized death rates are measured as residuals from moving means. There were sharp drops in residual variation for males
and females starting as early as 1944 in the United States and 1951 in England and Wales that persist to the present. The
standard deviations of residuals dropped by 59–81% from before 1940 to after 1950 depending on sex, country, and SDR or LE.
The timing and persistence of reduced annual variation indicates that antimicrobials contributed substantially to the change.
Population Research and Policy Review 06/2008; 27(3):343-351. DOI:10.1007/s11113-007-9068-z · 0.76 Impact Factor
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