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Mortality crossover between Okinawa and Japan in 2000 

Mortality crossover between Okinawa and Japan in 2000 

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Article
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The topic of this article is the exceptional longevity in Okinawa. This phenomenon should be thoroughly validated at both the individual and population levels. This contribution analyzes the demographic data available for the population of Okinawa, in order to explain the presence of large numbers of centenarians. The mortality crossover obtained b...

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Context 1
... life tables are available for Japan and Okinawa every five years at the time of each census, beginning in 1920. A comparison of mortality levels by five-year age groups reveals a clear mortality crossover, as previously discussed Naito 2005, Naito and). Figure 13 shows the mortality crossover for the 2000 life table; the mortality rates for Okinawa are higher before and lower after age 60, relative to Japan. Coale and Kisker (1986) made an in-depth study of the possible reasons for mortality crossovers. The two main explanations are (i) a selection effect and (ii) age misreporting or bad data. In the case of Okinawa as compared with Japan, all life tables since 1975 show this phenomenon, but the point of the crossover moves progressively over time, in such a way that the same groups of cohorts -those born before and those born after 1945, the end of WW II -are systematically contrasted. The ratio between the mortality rates in Okinawa and Japan are provided in Table 3. Kaneko (1987) and Takahashi (1993) have previously drawn attention to this contrast between the two groups of cohorts. According to Coale and Kisker's hypothesis, these two groups of cohorts should have experienced different selection effects or differences in the reliability of their data. More precisely, according to the first hypothesis we might suppose that those born before 1945 experienced more difficult life conditions than the succeeding cohorts, as compared with Japan as a whole. The second hypothesis might be that the age reporting is less reliable for cohorts born in Okinawa before 1945 than in Japan as a whole. The first hypothesis has been supported by several studies that demonstrated the positive impact of caloric restriction on the first group of cohorts ( Willcox et al. 2006) and the negative effects of "westernization", which mainly applies to the younger generations (Kagawa 1978). More recently, Hokama and Binns (2008) attributed this contrast to lower birth weights among the post WW II ...
Context 2
... comparing successive censuses we verified whether the evolution of the age and sex structure is compatible with the consequences of possible misreporting of age. We limited our analysis to females, as longevity in Okinawa is primarily a female phenomenon. We used the census data in Annex 2 to calculate the probability of survival from one five-year census to the next, assuming that emigration has not been considered for the population above 50 years of age, and that the probabilities reflect survival between the two censuses. Figure 13 includes all censuses between 1920 and 1970, except for those from 1940 to 1950, as these are more questionable and less comparable, according to Taueber (1955). The six curves are grouped into two sets: censuses before WW II (with a lower likelihood of age misreporting), and those after WW II (with a greater probability of age misreporting). This analysis clearly seems to support the incidence of age ...

Citations

... These three prefectures all experienced sudden increases in mortality due to earthquakes and tsunami (Nakahara and Ichikawa, 2013;Tanida, 1996). Okinawa has the highest TL estimates for all three series, probably due to the exceptional longevity in the prefecture (Poulain, 2011). Hence, Dimension 1, constructed as a linear projection of long-run temporal TL coefficients, can effectively distinguish populations enjoying low mortality consistently throughout 1975-2018 from those influenced by natural disasters. ...
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Taylor's law is a widely observed empirical pattern that relates the variances to the means of population densities. We present four extensions of the classical Taylor's law (TL): (1) a cubic extension of the linear TL describes the mean-variance relationship of human mortality at subnational levels well; (2) in a time series, long-run variance measures not only variance but also autocovariance, and it is a more suitable measure than variance alone to capture temporal/spatial correlation; (3) an extension of the classical equally weighted spatial variance takes account of synchrony and proximity; (4) robust linear regression estimators of TL parameters reduces vulnerability to outliers. Applying the proposed methods to age-specific Japanese subnational death rates from 1975 to 2018, we study temporal and spatial variations, compare different coefficient estimators, and interpret the implications. We apply a clustering algorithm to the estimated TL coefficients and find that cluster memberships are strongly related to prefectural gross domestic product. The time series of spatial TL coefficients has a decreasing trend that confirms the narrowing gap between rural and urban mortality in Japan.
... In practice, an LBZ is defined as a rather limited and homogenous geographical area in which the population shares the same lifestyle and environment and its longevity has been proved to be exceptionally high . So far, validated LBZs have been identified in Okinawa (Japan), on the Nicoya peninsula (Costa Rica) and on the island of Ikaria (Greece) (Poulain, 2011;Poulain et al., 2013;Pes and Poulain, 2016). ...
Article
Human longevity may be found in single individuals as well as in the population as a whole (“population longevity”). Longevity Blue Zones (LBZs), which are areas with an unusually high number of oldest old, have been identified in Sardinia and the Greek island of Ikaria. We compared the lifestyle, health status and some genetic markers of the LBZ populations with those of reference populations from Italy and Greece; the data were extracted from the GEHA database. In the LBZs, the proportion of individuals who never married or were married and still living with their spouse was significantly greater. Nonagenarians males and females with a high self‒perception of optimism and/or a high score for self-rated health were also found in larger proportions in LBZs. Among the variables with lower frequency were the proportion of the widowed, the percentage of subjects who had suffered a stroke and the frequency of Apoε4 and Apoε2 and the TT genotype of FOXO3A gene. Compared to behavioral and health indicators, the impact of genetic factors might be relatively less important in the LBZs. Nevertheless, further research is needed to identify potential epigenetic traits that might play a predominant role due to the interaction between genetics and the human and physical environments.
... Such investigations have been performed in Okinawa and Georgia (Caucasia) considered as potential BZ based on scientific studies describing their exceptional longevity. Despite some difficulties to access to official administrative documents, Okinawa has been considered as a BZ (Poulain, 2011) whereas the exceptional longevity in the mountains of Georgia was dismissed due to evidence of some age exaggeration . ...
Chapter
A number of geographical areas have been identified in the world where the proportion of age–validated oldest old, is significantly greater compared with the surrounding regions. They have been termed Blue Zone (BZ) owing to the color used to outline them in the maps of the regions to whom they belong. They are isolated o nearly–isolated population pockets sharing homogeneous genetic background, traditional lifestyle and dietary habits. Up to now, four regions fulfill the criteria to claim a Blue Zone status. They are located in Okinawa, Sardinia, Costa Rica, and Greece. Over the years, the Blue Zones concept has been increasingly accepted by the scientific community and they are no longer considered an anthropological curiosity but an effective model of healthy aging that might be transferred, at least in part, to the post–industrial societies of the 20th century, to face the challenge of aging societies and the rise of healthcare costs.
... Contrary to previous assertions that "Japan has…among the highest quality data for the oldestold" [29], a 2010 investigation of Japanese records revealed that 238,000 centenarians were actually missing or dead [30]. The Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare [31,32] now estimate there were 43,882 Japanese centenarians alive in 2010: an 82% reduction, and a notable contrast 390 to the idea that "Japanese demographic data have always been considered extremely reliable" [33]. ...
... Okinawa has a 36% child poverty rate, 15% higher any other prefecture [39]. Mortality rates in Okinawa 'cross over' after age 50, such that older individuals and cohorts have age-specific mortality rates far below the national average [33]: a pattern indicative of unreliable data and misreported ages [13]. Okinawa also has the second-440 lowest minimum wage (by one yen), the lowest household savings, the highest percentage of over-65s on income assistance, the highest poverty rate [39], and the worst average body mass index of all 47 prefectures [32]. ...
... The large-scale US bombing and invasion of Okinawa involved the destruction of entire cities and towns, obliterating around 90% of the Koseki birth and death records [33] with almost universal losses outside of Miyako and the Yaeyama archipelago [40]. Post-war Okinawans subsequently requested replacement documents, using dates recalled from memory in different calendars [40], from a US-led military government that largely spoke no Japanese. ...
Preprint
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The observation of individuals attaining remarkable ages, and their concentration into geographic sub-regions or 'blue zones', has generated considerable scientific interest. Proposed drivers of remarkable longevity include high vegetable intake, strong social connections, and genetic markers. Here, we reveal new predictors of remarkable longevity and 'supercentenarian' status. In the United States, supercentenarian status is predicted by the absence of vital registration. The state-specific introduction of birth certificates is associated with a 69-82% fall in the number of supercentenarian records. In Italy, which has more uniform vital registration, remarkable longevity is instead predicted by low per capita incomes and a short life expectancy. Finally, the designated 'blue zones' of Sardinia, Okinawa, and Ikaria corresponded to regions with low incomes, low literacy, high crime rate and short life expectancy relative to their national average. As such, relative poverty and short lifespan constitute unexpected predictors of centenarian and supercentenarian status, and support a primary role of fraud and error in generating remarkable human age records.
... From this perspective, the life span of the longest-lived individuals must be proved based on reliable and standardized procedures. Thus, the purposes of this paper are to propose a standardized age verification procedure based on previous studies (Jeune and Vaupel, 1999;Poulain, 2011;Poulain et al., 2006;Sachdev et al., 2012;Robine and Allard, 1999) and to apply the proposed procedure to the age verification case of Jiroemon Kimura (J.K.). ...
... This process is essential because we are not sure whether the target person is the same individual as the one identified by the face validity process. Switching records of individual can occur intentionally or unintentionally (Poulain, 2011;Saito et al., 2012;Wilmoth and Lundstrom, 1996). Taking over an early dead older sibling's registry such as S.I., avoiding military service, taking advantage of early retirement, evading political persecution, disasters such as an earth quake or a tsunami, military service participation in foreign countries, and immigration can be a cause of switching record of individuals (Wilmoth and Lundstrom, 1996). ...
Article
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Identifying the correct length of life for long-lived individuals is highly important for the social and natural sciences, as well as for policymaking. The purposes of this paper are to propose a standardized age verification procedure and to report on the age verification case of Jiroemon Kimura (J.K.), who is assumed to be the longest lived man in the world. We propose two verification processes that we have named face validity and concurrent validity of age verification. We collected official documents, and non-official records to check face validity. We also gathered life episodes told by J.K. and historical records to evaluate concurrent validity. Although we found several date inconsistencies among documents and mismatches between told episodes and actual dates of events, no critical discordances were discovered. In conclusion, we could verify that J.K. was born on April 19, 1897 and passed away on June 12, 2013 at the age of 116 years and 54 days.
... Existe uma série de explicações a respeito que buscam entender porque estes grupos de pessoas conseguem superar a esperança de vida global da população por mais de duas décadas. A variação genética tem sido identificada como uma das causas responsáveis pela "longevidade excepcional" (Perls 2003), juntamente com fatores associados a estilo de vida, tais como a nutrição, prática de exercícios físicos, dieta e baixo consumo de tabaco (Poulain 2011), além do elemento de sorte (Kirkwood 2005). ...
Article
Full-text available
Asúltimas décadas testemunharam o rápido crescimento da população de centenários, pessoas com 100 anos e mais, em algumas regiões do mundo. O número estimado de centenários em países desenvolvidos duplicou a cada década a partir de 1950(UN 2005). No Brasil, os centenários ainda compõem uma parcela muito pequena da população total. Em 2000, havia 24.576 centenários no país, ou 1,44 centenários por 10.000 pessoas, segundo dados do censo demográfico. Já em 2010, houve uma redução no número de centenários recenseados, tanto em número absoluto quanto em proporção, passando para 24.236 centenários, ou 1,27 centenários por 10.000 pessoas (IBGE 2000; 2010), o que sugere a existência de problemas nos dados divulgados dos censos demográficos. Apesar do empenho do IBGE em aperfeiçoar os dados censitários ao longo das últimas décadas, ainda existem problemas relacionados à exatidão das informações. Dois tipos básicos de erros podem acontecer nos recenseamentos dos dados populacionais. O primeiro se refere à contagem da população associado à má cobertura do censo, seja por omissão ou por duplicidade de um indivíduo. O segundo erro decorre de falhas nas declarações de idade, em função da omissão da informação oudeclaração errônea. Na busca por elementos que apontem para possíveis erros nos censos demográficos, o presente estudo apresenta uma análise exploratória da distribuição espacial dos centenários no Brasil por microrregião em 2000 e 2010. Ainda, busca-se avaliar a distribuição espacial da razão da população com 100 anos e mais e a população com 85 anos e mais no Brasil, comparativamente entre diferentes partes do Brasil e, também, com informações coletadas em países reconhecidos pela boa qualidade nos registros. Os resultados fornecem elementos sobre a qualidade dos dados dos Censos Demográficos para as pessoas com 100 anos e mais no Brasil para 2000 e 2010 e, em alguma medida, contribuem para o entendimento da distribuição espacial dos centenários no país.
... In Japan, women of Okinawa show the highest life expectancy at birth among all prefectures (87.15 years in 2010-2013). Special attention has been devoted to validation of the individual ages of the oldest people in order to ascertain exceptional longevity in Okinawa (Willcox et al. 2008;Poulain 2011). Since 1976, the Okinawa Centenarian Study has investigated the causes of the exceptional longevity of the islanders, attributing an essential role to genetic, dietary, climatic, cultural, and social factors, although it is likely that the real explanation lies in a combination of all of these. ...
Chapter
The term Blue Zone (BZ) refers to a rather small, homogenous geographical area where the population shares the same lifestyle and environment and its exceptional longevity has been scientifically proven. To date, four regions have been identified around the world as possessing the requirements to achieve Blue Zone status. They are located in Okinawa, Sardinia, Costa Rica, and Greece. http://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007/978-981-287-080-3_144-1
... Studies of centenarians require serious work on age validation (Jeune and Vaupel 1999;Poulain 2010Poulain , 2011 and careful design including the choice of an appropriate control group. Taking general population as a control group is one of the most popular approaches in centenarian studies. ...
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge of strong predictors of mortality and longevity is very important for actuarial science and practice. Earlier studies found that parental characteristics as well as early-life conditions and midlife environment play a significant role in survival to advanced ages. However, little is known about the simultaneous effects of these three factors on longevity. This ongoing study attempts to fill this gap by comparing centenarians born in the United States in 1890-1891 with peers born in the same years who died at age 65. The records for centenarians and controls were taken from computerized family histories, which were then linked to 1900 and 1930 U.S. censuses. As a result of this linkage procedure, 765 records of confirmed centenarians and 783 records of controls were obtained. Analysis with multivariate logistic regression found the existence of both general and gender-specific predictors of human longevity. General predictors common for men and women are paternal and maternal longevity. Gender-specific predictors of male longevity are occupation as a farmer at age 40, Northeastern region of birth in the United States, and birth in the second half of year. A gender-specific predictor of female longevity is the availability of radio in the household according to the 1930 U.S. census. Given the importance of familial longevity as an independent predictor of survival to advanced ages, we conducted a comparative study of biological and nonbiological relatives of centenarians using a larger sample of 1,945 validated U.S. centenarians born in 1880-1895. We found that male gender of centenarian has a significant positive effect on survival of adult male relatives (brothers and fathers) but not female blood relatives. Life span of centenarian siblings-in-law is lower compared to life span of centenarian siblings and does not depend on centenarian gender. Wives of male centenarians (who share lifestyle and living conditions) have a significantly better survival compared to wives of centenarians' brothers. This finding demonstrates an important role of shared familial environment and lifestyle in human longevity. The results of this study suggest that familial background, some early-life conditions and midlife characteristics play an important role in longevity.
... Studies of centenarians require serious work on age validation (Jeune and Vaupel 1999;Poulain 2010Poulain , 2011) and careful design including the choice of an appropriate control group. Taking general population as a control group is one of the most popular approaches in centenarian studies. ...
Article
Knowledge of strong predictors of mortality and longevity is very important for actuarial science and practice. Earlier studies found that parental characteristics as well as early-life conditions and midlife environment play a significant role in survival to advanced ages. However, little is known about the simultaneous effects of these three factors on longevity. This ongoing study attempts to fill this gap by comparing centenarians born in the United States in 1890-91 with peers born in the same years who died at age 65. The records for centenarians and controls were taken from computerized family histories, which were then linked to 1900 and 1930 U.S. censuses. As a result of this linkage procedure, 765 records of confirmed centenarians and 783 records of controls were obtained. Analysis with multivariate logistic regression found that parental longevity and some midlife characteristics proved to be significant predictors of longevity while the role of childhood conditions was less important. More centenarians were born in the second half of the year compared to controls, suggesting early origins of longevity. We found the existence of both general and gender-specific predictors of human longevity. General predictors common for men and women are paternal and maternal longevity. Gender-specific predictors of male longevity are the farmer occupation at age 40, Northeastern region of birth in the United States and birth in the second half of year. A gender-specific predictor of female longevity is surprisingly the availability of radio in the household according to the 1930 U.S. census. Given the importance of familial longevity as an independent predictor of survival to advanced ages, we conducted a comparative study of biological and nonbiological relatives of centenarians using a larger sample of 1,945 validated U.S. centenarians born in 1880-95. We found that male gender of centenarian has significant positive effect on survival of adult male relatives (brothers and fathers) but not female blood relatives. Life span of centenarian siblings-in-law is lower compared to life span of centenarian siblings and does not depend on centenarian gender. Wives of male centenarians (who share lifestyle and living conditions) have a significantly better survival compared to wives of centenarians' brothers. This finding demonstrates an important role of shared familial environment and lifestyle in human longevity. The results of this study suggest that familial background, early-life conditions and midlife characteristics play an important role in longevity.
... These include Okinawa in Japan (Willcox et al., 2001;Robine et al., 2003;Poulain & Naito, 2004;Cheung & Robine, 2007;Poulain, 2011), the peninsula of Nicoya in Costa Rica (Rosero-Bixby, 2008;Davinelli et al., 2012;Rehkopf et al., 2013), and the region of Sardinia in Italy (Deiana et al., 1999;Passarino et al., 2001;Poulain et al., , 2011Gatti & Salaris, 2004;Caselli & Lipsi, 2006;Salaris, 2010Salaris, , 2014Orrù, 2011;Pes et al., 2013;Salaris et al., 2013). ...
... Sardinia has been the subject of several studies on longevity, as it is generally considered a suitable setting: i) for genetic studies, due to its geographical and genetic isolation (Cavalli Sforza et al., 1997;Lampis et al., 2000;Fraumene et al., 2003;Pilia et al., 2006;Strait et al., 2009); ii) for studies of cardiovascular diseases (CVD), given the low mortality rates recorded in the island (Caselli & Lipsi, 2006;Muntoni et al., 2009;Scuteri et al., 2009); iii) for researches on centenarians, found to be geographically limited to the inland area of the region Gatti & Salaris, 2004;Orrù, 2011); iv) for studies of oldest ages in male survival in general (Passarino et al., 2001;Poulain et al., 2011). ...
... Often the analysis looks with interest at the role of specific causes of deaths (Nam et al., 1978;Nam, 1995;Hummer 1996;Corti et al., 1999;Johnson, 2000;Hill et al., 2000;Lynch et al., 2003;Thornton, 2004;Stansbury et al., 2005) and at socioeconomic status (Hoffmann, 2005;Yao & Robert 2011;Sautter et al., 2012). Crossover proves also to be caused by selection effects of exceptional events such as famine (Song, 2010) and it was detected when comparing particular longliving regions -as for example in Okinawa -with the national framework (Poulain & Naito, 2004;Poulain, 2011). ...
Article
Progressive gains in life expectancy have brought increasing aging of developed countries' populations and stimulated researches with respect to the limit of lifespan, the increasing presence of centenarians and the possible determinants of their "successful" ageing. In the international framework the population of the region of Sardinia was characterized by exceptional longevity. Through the comparison of life tables' rates and life expectancy estimates of birth cohorts born in the period 1872-1910, this paper reports analyses of differences in overall mortality between Italy and the long-living community of Sardinia. The adoption of a longitudinal approach allows us to explore whether the previously detected differences at advanced ages are also observable in other age groups. In addition, the study focuses on the occurrence of mortality crossover as an indicator of significant mortality differences between populations. Results show that differences between the two populations are not limited to oldest old ages. Crossover points in mortality rates are observed in the first years of life and at age 50 years. Both intersections represent the points where differences in life expectancy are the highest. At age 5 years differences are of 1.8 years for females and 3.6 years for males, while at age 50 years they are respectively 1.5 years for females and 3.7 years for males. The observed differences suggest that possible explanations for differential mortality and crossover might be related to selection process timing and dynamics which could be determined by genetics, and specific causes of death, as well as by behavioural and environmental factors. © 2015, Society for Longitudinal and Life Course Studies. All rights reserved.