Michel Poulain

Michel Poulain
Tallinn University | TLU · Estonian Institute for Population Studies

Ph. D. Demography

About

188
Publications
70,966
Reads
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1,871
Citations
Citations since 2016
40 Research Items
1073 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022050100150
2016201720182019202020212022050100150
2016201720182019202020212022050100150
2016201720182019202020212022050100150
Additional affiliations
September 1976 - present
Université Catholique de Louvain - UCLouvain
Position
  • Professor Emeritus
September 1976 - October 2014
Université Catholique de Louvain - UCLouvain
Position
  • Professor Emeritus

Publications

Publications (188)
Article
Full-text available
Being married reduces the mortality risk of older persons. More generally, living arrangements that include co-residence with a source of support and a close care-giver are associated with a lower mortality risk. We build a detailed typology of private and collective living arrangements, including marital status, and check its association with mort...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to compare the level of population longevity and the characteristics of four geographic areas where unusually high proportions of longlived individuals have been observed. For these areas (Ogliastra in Sardinia, Okinawa in Japan, the Nicoya peninsula in Costa Rica and the island of Ikaria in Greece). The term of ‘blue zone...
Article
Full-text available
Population registers are less well known and documented than other standard systems of demographic information (vital records, censuses, surveys). Although not found everywhere, they do exist in many European countries. They are always run on a municipal basis but computerization now makes it possible to centralize the data and establish national r...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: Mortality risk for older persons is associated with marital status and living arrangements, for example, living alone, with a spouse, with others but without a spouse, or in a collective household. This study analyzed the marital history and living arrangements of centenarians with the aim of identifying which trajectories are associat...
Article
Full-text available
High prevalence and low female/male ratio for validated centenarians are observed in Sardinia and these findings appear to be thus far unique to this island. Moreover a specific region on the island is characterized by exceptional male longevity. We calculated the extreme longevity index (ELI), defined as the percentage of persons born in Sardinia...
Article
The Blue Zones (BZs) are areas of the globe inhabited by exceptionally long-lived populations. They include the island of Okinawa in Japan, the island of Ikaria in Greece, the mountain area of the island of Sardinia in Italy, and the peninsula of Nicoya in Costa Rica. Their longevity is a relatively recent phenomenon that has been progressively inv...
Book
Full-text available
The book presents et results of a survey aiming to understand why contries face difficulties to provide data on international migration and what are the best practises identified in the six countries under study.
Book
Positive Ageing and Learning from Centenarians evaluates the mechanisms of positive ageing in a uniquely interdisciplinary way to explore the question of how we age and how some people age successfully. Drawing together the findings of recognised longevity researchers from around the world, the book applies an integrated vision to educational and...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Although it is known that mortality due to COVID-19 increases progressively with age, the probability of dying from this serious infection among the oldest-old population is little known, and controversial data are found in literature. Methods: We examine the mortality by year and month of birth of Belgians who had turned 100 during...
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 p...
Article
Full-text available
A cross-sectional observational study was conducted to describe the lifestyle of people ≥90 years, living in Evdilos or Raches, two municipalities of the Greek island of Ikaria, classified a longevity blue zone. The 71 participants were interviewed and underwent the Mediterranean Islands study food frequency questionnaire (MEDIS-FFQ) and the intern...
Article
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Health and longevity in humans are influenced by numerous factors, including lifestyle and nutrition. However, the direct relationship between lifetime eating habits and functional capacity of the elderly is poorly understood. This study investigated the dietary changes across nutrition transition (NT) in the early 1960s, in a population located in...
Chapter
Full-text available
Emma Morano was born on 29 November 1899 in a small mountain village in Piemonte, and died on 15 April 2017 in Verbania on Lake Maggiore (100 km north of Milano). She was the daughter of Giovanni Morano, a miner; and Mathilde Bresciani, aged 24, a weaver. She was the first child in the family, and her arrival was followed by the births of seven sib...
Chapter
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This contribution presents the validation of the age at death of Geert Adriaans BOOMGAARD (GAB), a seaman who reached the age of 110. He was born in Groningen on 21 September 1788 and died in the same city on 3 February 1899. A remarkable number of documents have been found that cover the full span of GAB’s life, and thus make it possible to valida...
Chapter
Full-text available
We established the Committee of Age Validation of Exceptional long-livers (CAVE) at our Supercentenarian Workshop in Tallinn in June 2016 with the aim of documenting the first supercentenarians in history. Another aim of this committee was to validate the longest-living supercentenarians; i.e., those who have reached the age of 115 years or older....
Chapter
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Margaret Ann Harvey was born on 18 May 1792 in St Peter Port, which is the capital city of Guernsey, the second-largest of the Channel Islands; and died there on 4 April 1903 at the reported age of 110. In this contribution, her exceptional age is thoroughly validated. Considering the data collected on her parents and siblings, there is no possibil...
Article
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In this contribution we present a preliminary analysis of surnames of inhabitants of Villagrande Strisaili, Sardinia, a village internationally famous because of the study we conducted on the exceptional longevity of its population. The data elaborated in this research are potentially able to reveal the deep links between surnames and demography, d...
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...
Article
A ce jour, peu voire aucune données statistiques relatives aux migrations internationales sont disponibles pour Djibouti. Or, tout le monde s’accorde à dire que la migration est un phénomène majeur qui touche largement la population djiboutienne. Par ailleurs, ces données statistiques sont indispensables pour développer un ‘Profil Migratoire’ qui d...
Technical Report
Ce document est le rapport final d’une activité qui s’insère dans le cadre du Programme Conjoint OIM-PNUD sur « l’intégration de la migration dans les stratégies nationales de développement ». L’ objectif de ce rapport est de faire le point sur l’ensemble des données statistiques disponibles et relatives aux migrations internationales. Il propose t...
Article
Full-text available
This study aims to test the hypothesis that a high prevalence of endemic goitre, considered as a proxy measure for subclinically reduced thyroid function in the population, is geographically associated with exceptional longevity. Using historical data available for 377 Sardinian municipalities in the first half of the twentieth century, we performe...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: To describe the demographic characteristics, socio-economic status, functional status (autonomy, strength), and health status (cognitive and thymic functions, cardiovascular risk factors, and nutritional status) of the oldest olds living on the Greek island of Ikaria. We also try to explain the longevity observed in this population. Me...
Book
Full-text available
Cette étude commanditée par le Ministère de la Femme et de la Famille avec le soutien technique de l’Organisation Internationale pour les Migrations (OIM) et le soutien financier de l’Union Européenne a eu pour objectif de livrer un diagnostic sur la situation de ces enfants et d’émettre des recommandations pour mettre en œuvre un plan d’actions vi...
Chapter
The term longevity is usually associated with long life and with the property of being long-lived, whereas in demography it is also a synonym for life expectancy, the average duration of life within a population. As such, the concept of longevity has double meaning: individual longevity related to long-lived individuals and population longevity usu...
Article
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Background: Consolidating the findings from an extensive literature review of research in geography of aging the theme of "belonging" emerge as a consolidating factor. Applying Paul Vidal de la Blache's concept of geography the authors explore the concept of aging-centered geography (milieu interne) and geography-centered geography (milieu externe....
Article
Background: Aging is characterized by an insidious decline in cognitive function. Several genetic and lifestyle factors have been implicated in the increased risk or early onset of dementia Aim: We sought to assess the role of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) polymorphisms on the development of impaired mental hea...
Article
Physical activity was identified as a major determinant of longevity. Using wearable accelerometers, we evaluated energy expenditure (EE), including resting- (REE) and total-energy expenditure, (TEE), physical activity level (PAL), percentage of PAL ≥ 3 metabolic equivalent tasks (METs), number of steps, resting index (RI%) and sleeping patterns in...
Article
Anthropometric traits observed during military medical examinations are excellent indicators of individual health and nutritional status, and more generally reflect historical socio-economic conditions. Historical demographers have shown little interest in the association of anthropometric traits with demographic family characteristics, except with...
Article
In this article, the force of mortality at the oldest ages is studied using the statistical tools from extreme value theory. A unique data basis recording all individual ages at death above 95 for extinct cohorts born in Belgium between 1886 and 1904 is used to illustrate the relevance of the proposed approach. No leveling off in the force of morta...
Article
Since ancient times the Mediterranean island of Sardinia has been known for harbouring a population with an average body height shorter than almost every other ethnic group in Europe. After over a century of investigations, the cause(s) at the origin of this uniqueness are not yet clear. The shorter stature of Sardinians appears to have been docume...
Article
The question of whether mothers’ fertility history influences their post-reproductive survival has been addressed frequently in the scientific literature. Using data from Villagrande Strisaili, Sardinia, where longevity is higher than anywhere else in Europe, we analyzed the relationship between the fertility pattern of mothers who survived past ag...
Article
Numerous studies on centenarians have been carried out around the world. Centenarians are the expression of exceptional individual longevity and examples of healthy ageing. Population longevity has deserved less interest. In the framework of the activities linked to the International Database on Longevity, a population with exceptional longevity ha...
Article
Objectives: Mortality risk in old age is associated with both marital status and living arrangements (with whom a person is living). This study analyses how the association between living arrangements and mortality risk varies by age and gender. Data and methods: We use a dataset extracted from the Belgian national register for the population aged...
Article
Background: How the genetic determinants contribute to cardiovascular disease (CVD) has provoked great interest; genes may account for 10% – 50% of the variability in human life span. FOXO3 is generally recognized as an important gene in aging. The newly discovered Gly566Ala variant (rs138174682) of FOXO3 gene has not been yet evaluated with any fu...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Nel 1999 abbiamo individuato un'area nel versante centro-orientale della Sardegna la cui popolazione ha una prevalenza di ultracentenari tra le più elevate al mondo. Lo studio di tale popolazione (Longevity Blue Zone, LBZ) rappresenta un nuovo paradigma scientifico in grado di facilitare l’identificazione dei fattori associati all'invecchiamento in...
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 Okinaw...
Conference Paper
An important aspect of tourism, as it appears at the beginning of the new millennium, is the growing proportion of older people as clients. On one hand, this is due to the demographic trends of most industrial countries, where a steady increase in the number of people aged 65 or over is ongoing, though not in a uniform manner across all countries....
Article
A healthy diet should balance caloric intake (quality calories) with a variety of foods poor in simple sugars, such as cereals and legumes, fruits and vegetables, nuts, low-fat dairy products, fish, meat, and eggs prepared with culinary skills and minimally processed. This paper investigates the eating habits of school children of Villagrande, Ital...
Article
Objectives: We assessed the neuropsychological (NP) profiles of centenarians living in the village of Villagrande Strisaili, in the long-lived area of Sardinia Island (Italy) which holds the world record for male longevity. Methods: Cognitive testing was performed by using DSM-5 criteria. Home interviews lasted 2–4 hours per person and were entirel...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The validation of the ages of alleged centenarians is essential for scientific research in demography, genetics, epidemiology, and medicine. Age inaccuracy was often observed in past populations, and is still commonly observed today in populations without efficient civil registration. Most of alleged centenarians born before the XIX century cannot...
Chapter
Full-text available
Massive twentieth century immigration in Belgium led to the emergence of a profoundly diverse society. However, until the 1980s, since a particularly restrictive nationality law was in force, it was believed that nationality-based distinctions adequately addressed the issue. But since 1984, the many reforms to the Code of Belgian citizenship have s...
Article
Full-text available
The identification of a hot spot of exceptional longevity, the Longevity Blue Zone (LBZ), in the mountain population of Sardinia has aroused considerable interest toward its traditional food as one of the potential causal factors. This preliminary study on the traditional Sardinian diet has been supported by the literature available, which has been...
Chapter
Full-text available
In this first chapter the demographer Michel Poulain, a pioneer in research on Sardinian longevity, and the physician Gianni Pes, retrace a vast period of time looking for the historical antecedents which may testify to the presence of centenarians on the island already in the past. This overview, necessarily inexhaustive, is an opportunity to emph...
Article
Introduction: The study of populations with exceptionally high longevity is a promising model in mortality research. So far, we identified several geographical areas called ‘Longevity Blue Zones’ (LBZ) around the world where a significant proportion of people reach oldest age. In the Mediterranean island of Sardinia the LBZ encompasses a cluster of...
Conference Paper
Sardinian population experienced a late fertility transition and high level of marital fertility has been reported until the 1950’s. For the village of Villagrande in Ogliastra still involved in agro-pastoral activities with traditional life style still prevalent, we reconstruct about one thousand completed families with mothers born between 1880 a...
Article
This study investigates the role of familial transmission on individual survival in an inland community of Sardinia that stands for the exceptional longevity of its inhabitants. The analysis considers the complete survival trajectories of individuals born in the village of Villagrande Strisaili from unions in the period from 1850 to 1910 and aims t...
Conference Paper
We have analyzed the relationship between the fertility of mothers who survived age 50 (n=522) and their overall lifespan. We found that, adjusting for potential confounders (year of mothers’ birth, survival of spouse), delayed childbirth is associated with a reduced mortality risk (HR: 0.969), in particular, a 3-year delay in the average age at de...
Chapter
Mortality in the institutionalized aged population is generally recognized as being considerably higher than among those living independently; whereas among those living independently, there is a greater risk of mortality among those living alone than among those living with other adults (generally with spouse and/or children). However, given that...
Article
Full-text available
To re-examine the correlation between mtDNA variability and longevity, we examined mtDNAs from samples obtained from over 2200 ultranonagenarians (and an equal number of controls) collected within the framework of the GEHA EU project. The samples were categorized by high-resolution classification, while about 1300 mtDNA molecules (650 ultranonagena...
Data
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Table S1. a and b. Haplogroup distribution in males and females.
Data
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Fig. S1 Scatterplot of the first two principal component scores based on the 229 SNPs (MAF > 0.01) identified in the 1291 mtDNA analyzed sequences.
Data
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Table S3. mtDNA mutations found in our study and previously associated with diseases. Table S4. Distribution of 90+ and controls from different centers participating in the GEHA project. Table S5. Sample distribution and general characteristics of the study participants. Table S6. Modified primer pairs for complete resequencing.
Data
Full-text available
Table S2. List of all the mutations identified in our sample by the complete mtDNA sequencing.
Article
We aimed to determine whether there was a Blue Zone, an area characterized by extreme longevity, in Menorca, Spain. We explored official statistics of the Balearic Islands, Spain, and calculated life expectancy from 1991 to 2009, by sex and island, among other demographic estimators. The life expectancy at birth in Menorca reached a peak in 2007 wi...
Conference Paper
How the survival of children may affect the fertility behaviour of their mother? More directly could the lost of a child increase the fertility of his/her mother. This question is important in the study of the impact of the reduction of infant mortality for the fertility transition. Sardinian population that experienced late fertility transition an...
Article
Central Population Registers as a Source of Demographic statistics in Europe Since their origins in seventeenth-century Sweden, population registers have been kept at local level, and computerization has now made it possible to establish national registers in most of the 30 European countries analysed in this article. As a result of these registers...
Article
Introduction: Longevity may be related to individuals (individual longevity) or to a populations as a whole (population longevity). When searching for the determinants of population longevity, the chance to find more powerful predictors is increased when most persons concerned are born and live in the same place and are more likely to share the sam...
Article
Introduction : Health status among the oldest olds is very heterogeneous and major sources of variation are lifestyle and environmental factors. In the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, the distribution of long-lived people follows two distinct modalities: (i) an aggregated pattern in a mountain area (Longevity Blue Zone, LBZ), indicating the prese...
Data
Clear evidence exists for heritability of human longevity, and much interest is focused on identifying genes associated with longer lives. To identify such longevity alleles, we performed the largest genome-wide linkage scan thus far reported. Linkage analyses included 2118nonagenarian Caucasian sibling pairs that have been enrolled in 15 study cen...
Article
Background and aims: A demographic analysis in the Mediterranean island of Sardinia revealed marked differences in extreme longevity across the 377 municipalities and particularly identified a mountain inner area where the proportion of oldest subjects among male population has one of the highest validated value worldwide. The cause(s) of this une...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The interaction between fertility and mortality is multiple and is not easy to catch because most databases are inadequate due to missing information on death. We will use data collected in the municipality of Villagrande in Ogliastra (Sardinia) where 3,400 inhabitants are still living in a society still largely agro-pastoral and are experiencing h...