Mortality patterns reflect fundamental characteristics of societies and help to reveal important changes in population health over time. In order to improve our understanding of such topics, we propose here to examine historical and contemporary mortality patterns for a wide range of countries, including the United States. The work for this project is organized into three parts. The first part consists of an analysis of comparative mortality trends in high-income countries. In the second part, we will continue our efforts to develop publicly accessible data resources for the analysis of global mortality trends, including the developing world. In the third part of this project, we will develop new and better methods for estimating and analyzing mortality in both developed and developing countries. The substantive questions that motivate this project are focused on certain features of recent mortality trends. Specifically, we will examine the pronounced slowdown in the pace of mortality reduction at advanced ages in the United States since around 1980. This trend has affected female mortality in particular, contributing to an overall narrowing of sex differences. We propose to investigate the contribution of key risk factors (especially, smoking and obesity) to these recent trends. To enrich these studies, the project includes a detailed plan for collecting and organizing historical mortality data by cause of death, which will be shared publicly via the Human Mortality Database (www.mortality.org). The project will also address a number of important issues regarding methods for estimating current and historical mortality levels, especially in developing countries. We will develop updated methods of indirect estimation using a new system of model life tables that we have proposed recently. We will also develop new and better methods for quantifying the uncertainty of mortality estimates, especially for countries that lack complete and reliable data from censuses and vital registration. To facilitate this research, we are building a complex database for storing all forms of data that are typically used for estimating both all-cause and cause-specific mortality in national populations.

Public Health Relevance

Studies in Global Mortality examines historical and contemporary mortality patterns for a wide range of countries, including the United States. Estimating mortality and its causes is an important step in determining the relative importance of factors preventing longer life, and as such are directly relevant to the goals of the National Institute on Aging. Project Narrative Studies in Global Mortality examines historical and contemporary mortality patterns for a wide range of countries, including the United States. Estimating mortality and its causes is an important step in determining the relative importance of factors preventing longer life, and as such are directly relevant to the goals of the National Institute on Aging.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01AG011552-19
Application #
8715658
Study Section
Social Sciences and Population Studies Study Section (SSPS)
Program Officer
Patmios, Georgeanne E
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
19
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
University of California Berkeley
Department
Social Sciences
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
City
Berkeley
State
CA
Country
United States
Zip Code
94704
Ouellette, Nadine; Barbieri, Magali; Wilmoth, John R (2014) Period-Based Mortality Change: Turning Points in Trends since 1950. Popul Dev Rev 40:77-106
Wilmoth, John; Zureick, Sarah; Canudas-Romo, Vladimir et al. (2012) A flexible two-dimensional mortality model for use in indirect estimation. Popul Stud (Camb) 66:1-28
Canudas-Romo, Vladimir (2010) Three measures of longevity: time trends and record values. Demography 47:299-312
Preston, Samuel H; Glei, Dana A; Wilmoth, John R (2010) A new method for estimating smoking-attributable mortality in high-income countries. Int J Epidemiol 39:430-8
Wilmoth, John (2009) The lifetime risk of maternal mortality: concept and measurement. Bull World Health Organ 87:256-62
Horiuchi, Shiro; Wilmoth, John R; Pletcher, Scott D (2008) A decomposition method based on a model of continuous change. Demography 45:785-801
Glei, Dana A; Horiuchi, Shiro (2007) The narrowing sex differential in life expectancy in high-income populations: effects of differences in the age pattern of mortality. Popul Stud (Camb) 61:141-59
Perls, Thomas T; Wilmoth, John; Levenson, Robin et al. (2002) Life-long sustained mortality advantage of siblings of centenarians. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 99:8442-7
Wilmoth, J R; Deegan, L J; Lundstrom, H et al. (2000) Increase of maximum life-span in Sweden, 1861-1999. Science 289:2366-8
Wilmoth, J R (2000) Demography of longevity: past, present, and future trends. Exp Gerontol 35:1111-29

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