Energy Consumption as an Indicator of Longevity

Afifi, A.A. & Sagan, L.A. (1978). Energy Consumption as an Indicator of Longevity. IIASA Professional Paper. IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria: PP-78-006

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This report is one in a series by the authors describing their work on the relationship between health and energy. Using cross-sectional as well as longitudinal data, the series examines the role of economic development in improving health. The national data used here extended over the period 1900 to 1975 and covered 99 percent of the world population.

The study is a "first cut" at analyzing the relationship between commercial energy consumption and health. As measures of the latter, both infant mortality and longevity data from birth of 150 countries have been used. Both show strong relationships to energy, describing logistic functions with an upper plateau at 2000 kg coal equivalent beyond which no further improvement occurs. When the regression of longevity on energy consumption is examined over previous decades, a shift is observed in that the energy requirements for any given level of longevity or infant mortality are shown to be declining. Using 1950 data for energy consumption, approximately half of the subsequent improvements in health could be predicted. The residual is ascribed to a poorly defined "time effect", which is non-economic in character and which has improved health measures among all countries regardless of level of development.

Item Type: Monograph (IIASA Professional Paper)
Research Programs: Energy Program (ENP)
Depositing User: IIASA Import
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2016 01:45
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:08

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