Volume 40 - Article 41 | Pages 1167–1210

Impact of delayed effects on human old-age mortality

By Andrea Verhulst, Hiram Beltrán-Sánchez, Alberto Palloni

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Date received:13 May 2018
Date published:10 May 2019
Word count:7887
Keywords:delayed effects, DOHaD, older age mortality patterns, senescence
DOI:10.4054/DemRes.2019.40.41
Additional files:readme.40-41 (text file, 427 Byte)
 demographic-research.40-41 (zip file, 2 MB)
 SupMaterials (pdf file, 6 MB)
 

Abstract

Background: There is growing empirical evidence supporting theories of developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD). However, the implications of DOHaD conjectures for aggregate population patterns of human disease, disability, mortality, and aging are poorly understood.

Objective: We empirically test two predictions derived from a formal model of aggregate population-level impacts of DOHaD. This model predicts that populations potentially influenced by delayed effects should experience singularities in their adult mortality patterns that can be empirically detected from aggregate data.

Methods: We test predictions using a large mortality database for populations in the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region, spanning nearly one hundred years of mortality history.

Results: Results are consistent, within explicit bounds of uncertainty, with expected patterns. We find that younger cohorts in countries whose mortality decline starts more recently experience deceleration in survival gains at older ages, attenuation of the rate of aging at older ages, and a decline in the association between early childhood and adult mortality.

Conclusions: Results point to the importance of adverse early conditions for human longevity. Future research should shed light on the impact on morbidity, disability, and healthy life expectancy.

Contribution: This paper empirically tests selected predictions from a formal model of aggregate population-level impacts of DOHaD and shows that populations potentially influenced by delayed effects could experience singularities in their adult mortality patterns. We use a large mortality data base for populations in the Latin American and Caribbean region (LAC) spanning nearly one hundred years of mortality history.

Comments: To our knowledge this is the first time that implications of DOHaD conjectures for populations' mortality patterns are formulated precisely and empirically tested with aggregate population data.

Author's Affiliation

Andrea Verhulst - University of Pennsylvania, United States of America [Email]
Hiram Beltrán-Sánchez - University of California, Los Angeles, United States of America [Email]
Alberto Palloni - University of Wisconsin–Madison, United States of America [Email]

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

» Child mortality estimation: An assessment of summary birth history methods using microsimulation
Volume 34 - Article 39

» The fragility of the future and the tug of the past: Longevity in Latin America and the Caribbean
Volume 29 - Article 21

» An integrated approach to cause-of-death analysis: cause-deleted life tables and decompositions of life expectancy
Volume 19 - Article 35

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