The Gestational Age Pattern of Human Mortality

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Resumé

In order to check hypotheses about the cause for "ontogenescense" -- the phenomenon of a declining force of mortality prior to maturity -- I analyse data on human mortality by gestational age. Based on extensive microdata on births, fetal- and infant deaths in the US 2009 I calculate a joint fetal-infant lifetable by gestational age spanning week 23 until week 100 after the last menstrual period of the mother. This joint lifetable shows a remarkable regularity in the gestational age profile of fetal- and infant mortality: Mortality rates are declining over the whole observed age range with the exception of a "birth hump" peaking week 38. The absolute rate of decline slows down over age. The observed gestational age pattern of the force of mortality is consistent with three hypotheses concerning the causes for ontogenescense: 1) Adaptation: as the organism growths it becomes more resilient towards death, 2) transitional timing: the transition of birth is a stressful event and momentarily increases the force of mortality, 3) mortality selection: The frailest die first, resulting in the mean force of mortality to decline with age. In order to quantify the relative importance of these three processes I fit a three component mortality model against the observed force of mortality. The model describes the data with high accuracy, suggesting that the phenomenon of ontogenescense in humans is fully explained by the three hypotheses.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
Publikationsdato2016
StatusUdgivet - 2016
Begivenhed7th Demographic Conference of “Young Demographers” - Charles University in Prague, Prague, Tjekkiet
Varighed: 11. feb. 201612. feb. 2016

Konference

Konference7th Demographic Conference of “Young Demographers”
LokationCharles University in Prague
LandTjekkiet
ByPrague
Periode11/02/201612/02/2016

Fingeraftryk

mortality
infant mortality
infant

Citer dette

Schöley, J., Vaupel, J. W., Jacobsen, R., & Oeppen, J. (2016). The Gestational Age Pattern of Human Mortality. Abstract fra 7th Demographic Conference of “Young Demographers”, Prague, Tjekkiet.
Schöley, Jonas ; Vaupel, James W. ; Jacobsen, Rune ; Oeppen, James. / The Gestational Age Pattern of Human Mortality. Abstract fra 7th Demographic Conference of “Young Demographers”, Prague, Tjekkiet.
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Schöley, J, Vaupel, JW, Jacobsen, R & Oeppen, J 2016, 'The Gestational Age Pattern of Human Mortality', 7th Demographic Conference of “Young Demographers”, Prague, Tjekkiet, 11/02/2016 - 12/02/2016.

The Gestational Age Pattern of Human Mortality. / Schöley, Jonas; Vaupel, James W. ; Jacobsen, Rune; Oeppen, James.

2016. Abstract fra 7th Demographic Conference of “Young Demographers”, Prague, Tjekkiet.

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskningpeer review

TY - ABST

T1 - The Gestational Age Pattern of Human Mortality

AU - Schöley, Jonas

AU - Vaupel, James W.

AU - Jacobsen, Rune

AU - Oeppen, James

PY - 2016

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N2 - In order to check hypotheses about the cause for "ontogenescense" -- the phenomenon of a declining force of mortality prior to maturity -- I analyse data on human mortality by gestational age. Based on extensive microdata on births, fetal- and infant deaths in the US 2009 I calculate a joint fetal-infant lifetable by gestational age spanning week 23 until week 100 after the last menstrual period of the mother. This joint lifetable shows a remarkable regularity in the gestational age profile of fetal- and infant mortality: Mortality rates are declining over the whole observed age range with the exception of a "birth hump" peaking week 38. The absolute rate of decline slows down over age. The observed gestational age pattern of the force of mortality is consistent with three hypotheses concerning the causes for ontogenescense: 1) Adaptation: as the organism growths it becomes more resilient towards death, 2) transitional timing: the transition of birth is a stressful event and momentarily increases the force of mortality, 3) mortality selection: The frailest die first, resulting in the mean force of mortality to decline with age. In order to quantify the relative importance of these three processes I fit a three component mortality model against the observed force of mortality. The model describes the data with high accuracy, suggesting that the phenomenon of ontogenescense in humans is fully explained by the three hypotheses.

AB - In order to check hypotheses about the cause for "ontogenescense" -- the phenomenon of a declining force of mortality prior to maturity -- I analyse data on human mortality by gestational age. Based on extensive microdata on births, fetal- and infant deaths in the US 2009 I calculate a joint fetal-infant lifetable by gestational age spanning week 23 until week 100 after the last menstrual period of the mother. This joint lifetable shows a remarkable regularity in the gestational age profile of fetal- and infant mortality: Mortality rates are declining over the whole observed age range with the exception of a "birth hump" peaking week 38. The absolute rate of decline slows down over age. The observed gestational age pattern of the force of mortality is consistent with three hypotheses concerning the causes for ontogenescense: 1) Adaptation: as the organism growths it becomes more resilient towards death, 2) transitional timing: the transition of birth is a stressful event and momentarily increases the force of mortality, 3) mortality selection: The frailest die first, resulting in the mean force of mortality to decline with age. In order to quantify the relative importance of these three processes I fit a three component mortality model against the observed force of mortality. The model describes the data with high accuracy, suggesting that the phenomenon of ontogenescense in humans is fully explained by the three hypotheses.

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Schöley J, Vaupel JW, Jacobsen R, Oeppen J. The Gestational Age Pattern of Human Mortality. 2016. Abstract fra 7th Demographic Conference of “Young Demographers”, Prague, Tjekkiet.