# More information for

Mortality postponement and compression at older-ages in human cohorts

The published paper contains graphs for all countries, available by clicking the button above on the left. The code and data can be obtained by clicking the button above on the right. Individual results for each country can be obtained in the country file for that country by clicking the appropriate button to the right.

Each country file contains four items.

(1) A table that shows 95% confidence intervals for the age at which we estimate the average mortality hazard rate of surviving people in each birth cohort will first reach 2/3 (this corresponds to an annual death probability of around a half), and 95% confidence intervals for the age at death of the longest-lived person in each birth cohort. 95% confidence intervals account for uncertainty in our estimates, and, if the model is correct, will contain the true value 95% of the time.

(2) A table that shows our estimates of changes in the remaining life expectancy at age 50 of each birth cohort relative to the cohort born ten years before. We divide changes in remaining life expectancy into two parts: that due to mortality postponement (which leads to an increase in maximum possible lifespans) and that due to mortality compression (where mortality at younger ages improves but there is no increase in the maximum possible lifespan), along with 95% confidence intervals for each quantity.

(3) A set of figures. Each figure is shown separately for females (on the left) and males (on the right).

The first row of figures shows our estimates of the rate of increase in mortality by year of age for each birth cohort (on the vertical axis), plotted against the estimated mortality hazard of 50-year olds in that cohort (on the horizontal axis). Birth cohorts are shown in boxes on the graph. In general, points move upwards and towards the left in successive birth cohorts, meaning that mortality rates at age 50 have fallen, but the rate at which mortality rates increase with age has risen. Mortality postponement occurs when the increase in the rate at which mortality rises with age does not fully compensate for reductions in mortality at younger old ages, leading to an increase in the maximum possible lifespan.

The second row of figures shows our estimate of how the remaining life expectancy at age 50 (in years) has changed across birth cohorts at 10-year intervals. For instance, a value of 1 on the graph means that individuals born in that year who reach age 50 can expect to live one year longer after age 50 than individuals born ten years earlier. We split the change into the portion due to compression and the portion due to postponement (described above), and show confidence intervals for each portion. For the cohorts that are already extinct, we show the actual change in remaining life expectancy at age 50 for that cohort. Confidence intervals widen for more recent cohorts - that is, our estimates become much less certain - as less data is available upon which to base our estimates.

The third row of figures shows our 95% confidence intervals for the longest-lived person in each birth cohort (grey) and the age at which we project the mortality hazard rate for surviving members of each birth cohort will first reach 2/3 (this corresponds to an annual death probability of around one half). Black dots indicate the longest-lived person in each cohort available from our data sources. Green dots indicate that the longest-lived person in each cohort is still alive. The diagonal line separates observed data from projections: anything to the right of the diagonal line represents a projection, and anything to the left is observed.

(4) The final section in each country file is a list of the data we have available for each of the individuals indicated with points in the third set of figures above, and the data source for that person.

Dr David McCarthy would be happy to provide any further information or answer any questions at dmccarth@uga.edu