Longevity and Month of Birth:
Evidence from Austria and Denmark

Gabriele Doblhammer

Date Received: 12 July 1999
Date Published: 25 August 1999

This article shows that in two European countries, Austria and Denmark, a person’s life span correlates with his or her month of birth. It presents evidence that this pattern is not the result of the seasonal distribution of death. It also shows that the seasonal pattern in longevity cannot be explained by the so-called "birthday effect"– the alleged tendency of people to die shortly after their birthday. The article concludes with a discussion of possible social and biological mechanisms related to a person’s season of birth that might influence life expectancy.

Author's affiliation:
Dr. Gabriele Doblhammer is with the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Konrad-Zuse-Strasse 1, D-18057, Rostock, Germany

Table of Contents:
1 Introduction
2 Data and Methods
   2.1 Data
   2.2 Methods
3 Results
4 Discussion
5 Conclusion
6 Acknowledgments

Keywords: longevity, Denmark, Austria, season of birth
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Word count: 3,815


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Longevity and Month of Birth:
Evidence from Austria and Denmark

Gabrielle Doblhammer
1999 - 2000 Max-Planck-Gesellschaft ISSN 1435-9871