Article thumbnail

Limits to human life span through extreme value theory

By Jesson Einmahl, John Einmahl and L.F.M. de Haan

Abstract

There is no scientific consensus on the fundamental question whether the probability distribution of the human life span has a finite endpoint or not and, if so, whether this upper limit changes over time. Our study uses a unique dataset of the ages at death - in days - of all (about 285,000) Dutch residents, born in the Netherlands, who died in the years 1986-2015 at a minimum age of 92 years and is based on extreme value theory, the coherent approach to research problems of this type. Unlike some other studies we base our analysis on the configuration of thousands of mortality data of old people, not just the few oldest old. We find compelling statistical evidence that there is indeed an upper limit to the life span of men and to that of women for all the 30 years we consider and, moreover, that there are no indications of trends in these upper limits over the last 30 years, despite the fact that the number of people reaching high age (say 95 years) was almost tripling. We also present estimates for the endpoints, for the force of mortality at very high age, and for the so-called perseverance parameter

Topics: aging, endpoint, extreme value index, oldest, statistics of extremes, C12 - Hypothesis Testing: General, C13 - Estimation: General, C14 - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
Year: 2019
DOI identifier: 10.1080/01621459.2018.1537912
OAI identifier:
Provided by: NARCIS
Download PDF:
Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s):
  • http://www.loc.gov/mods/v3 (external link)
  • https://pure.uvt.nl/ws/oai (external link)
  • https://research.tilburguniver... (external link)
  • Suggested articles


    To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.