The population of the developed world is rapidly aging, and recent decreases in old-age mortality imply this process will continue, with enormous implications for public spending on health care, pensions etc.
The aim of the proposed project is to improve understanding of determinants of individual health and mortality in old age and the demographic, epidemiological and socioeconomic factors governing the ageing process. More specifically, the project will assess the relative importance of early-life conditions, life course transitions, prevailing living conditions and public health interventions for later-life health and mortality. This knowledge is essential for improving forecasts of the future size and health of the elderly population in anticipation of future expenditures on pensions and medical care, and for designing public health interventions to promote health and reduce mortality at older ages. Studying the impact of early-life conditions on mortality in old age requires individual life histories covering long periods of time. This project brings together appropriate longitudinal data for four European countries in a comparative analysis of these issues.
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