Longevity and life expectancy

Marchetti, C. (1997). Longevity and life expectancy. Technological Forecasting and Social Change 55 (3) 281-299. 10.1016/S0040-1625(97)00024-3.

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Abstract

The increase in life expectancy at all ages during the last two centuries is in need of a quantitative model capable of resuming the whole process under a single concept and simple mathematics. The basic hypothesis was that through improved hygiene, medicine, and life-style, the stumbling blocks to the full expression of longevity were progressively removed. The mathematics of learning processes was then applied to the secular evolution of life expectancy at various ages. The hypothesis proved very fertile. Logistic equations fit long strings of statistical data, covering the evolution of life expectancy at various ages, for both sexes, and in many European nations for almost two centuries. These life expectancy increases seem to move progressively to a common asymptote of about 79 years for men and about 84 years for women. It is suggested that these values are taken as a definition of longevity, presumably explicitating a coding in DNA. The evolution of life expectancy during the last couple of centuries appears to follow consistent paths precisely mapped with simple mathematics. This opens the way to more integrated and holistic theories.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Institute Scholars (INS)
Bibliographic Reference: Technological Forecasting and Social Change; 55(3):281-299 [1997]
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 02:08
Last Modified: 05 Dec 2019 13:19
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/5068

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