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Science. 2018 Jun 29;360(6396):1459-1461. doi: 10.1126/science.aat3119.

The plateau of human mortality: Demography of longevity pioneers.

Author information

1
Department of Statistical Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy. elisabetta.barbi@uniroma1.it.
2
Department of Political Sciences, University of Roma Tre, Rome, Italy.
3
Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT), Rome, Italy.
4
Interdisciplinary Center for Research and Education on Population Change, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.
5
Department of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.
6
Duke University Population Research Institute, Durham, NC, USA.
7
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
8
Department of Demography, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA.

Abstract

Theories about biological limits to life span and evolutionary shaping of human longevity depend on facts about mortality at extreme ages, but these facts have remained a matter of debate. Do hazard curves typically level out into high plateaus eventually, as seen in other species, or do exponential increases persist? In this study, we estimated hazard rates from data on all inhabitants of Italy aged 105 and older between 2009 and 2015 (born 1896-1910), a total of 3836 documented cases. We observed level hazard curves, which were essentially constant beyond age 105. Our estimates are free from artifacts of aggregation that limited earlier studies and provide the best evidence to date for the existence of extreme-age mortality plateaus in humans.

PMID:
29954979
PMCID:
PMC6457902
DOI:
10.1126/science.aat3119
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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