Variation in life expectancy during the twentieth century in the United States.
ABSTRACT 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.
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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. · 0.76 Impact Factor
Article: Response to noymerBiodemography and Social Biology 09/2008; 54(2):134-140. · 1.37 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Mexican Americans have demonstrated lower than what would be expected mortality rates and disease prevalence, given their overrepresentation among those living in poverty. However, Mexican Americans living along the US-Mexico border have been documented as carrying a higher burden of disease and disability that seems to contradict or at least challenge evidence in support of a "Hispanic Paradox". The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the concept of border health as it relates to the conceptualization and measurement of health outcomes in older Mexican Americans living in the Southwest United States. Data for this study comes from the Hispanic Established Populations for the Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly (Hispanic EPESE) wave 1 and mortality files up to wave 5. Border residence was determined using La Paz Agreement county and distance from a port of entry classifications. Statistical analysis was conducted to assess border versus non-border differences in cause of death, disability, disease prevalence and premature mortality. Adjusted regression models were used to predict cause of death, disability and disease-free life expectancy and premature mortality (i.e. occurring before life expectancy). Interaction models between border/non-border and median income were also performed. Finally, distance from the US-Mexico border was used to determine the effect of distance to the US-Mexico border in border-residing participants. The findings from this study indicate that participants in the HEPESE were more likely to be alive at Wave 5 if they resided in a border county, however more likely to transition into ADL disability status. These findings were not explained by behaviors, duration in the US or sociocultural characteristics of where they lived. Additionally, Hispanic EPESE subjects that lived in the border region were more likely to have died from old age and were less likely to be lost to follow up. Interaction models revealed significant effects for diabetes as a cause of death. Moreover, distance from a US-Mexico port of entry was significant for being alive at wave 5 for border-residing participants. Relative to non-border residing participants, border residing Mexican Americans in the Hispanic EPESE did not carry a uniformly higher burden of disease, however had a significantly greater odds of 10 year survival. These findings bring up issues of measurement and the importance of geographic location when it comes to evaluating disease burden and mortality in Mexican Americans.Journal of Cross-Cultural Gerontology 07/2013;