James Oeppen


  • J.B. Winsløws Vej 9 B, st. tv.

    5000 Odense C


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Personal profile

Research areas

Forecasting Mortality by Cause of Death

Forecasting mortality is a difficult problem that is undertaken by many international, government, and financial institutions. It would be useful to disaggregate these forecasts by cause of death because that would allow policy makers to identify target areas for future reductions in mortality. In addition, the ultimate cause of death may be a good guide to the period of ill health that precedes most deaths and help to indicate its cost to society. At the moment, very few institutions try to forecast mortality by cause of death because of the technical difficulties.

One of the reasons it is more difficult is that even though the average age at death is generally rising, each person must die, so if the forecast suggests that a cause will become less important in the future, one or more of the other causes has to absorb extra deaths and not necessarily at the same age.

A second problem arises because we would like the sum of the forecasts for each cause to match the existing forecasts that do not separate the causes of death. This project undertakes basic research to explore new statistical methods that are explicitly designed to address these problems.


Forecasting Cancer Mortality, Prevalence, and Incidence.

Assuming that cancer mortality can be forecast within a coherent model of the other major competing causes of death, this project attempts to add forecasts of specific cancer prevalence and incidence that are consistent with the cancer mortality forecast. The initial phase has concentrated on lung cancer because of its importance to overall mortality and morbidity, its differential trajectories by sex and country, and its relatively well-defined etiology. Given a forecast of mortality by major causes, specifically separating out lung cancer mortality, we adapt the Preston-Glei-Wilmoth indirect estimation method to forecast the fraction of total mortality that may be attributed to smoking. The next step will try to integrate demographic, epidemiological and oncological approaches to estimate future patterns of lung cancer incidence and prevalence that are consistent with the forecast levels of lung cancer mortality.


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Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2016 2019

  • 16 Conference abstract for conference
  • 6 Journal article

Forecasting causes of death by using compositional data analysis: the case of cancer deaths

Kjærgaard, S., Ergemen, Y. E., Kallestrup-Lamb, M., Oeppen, J. & Lindahl-Jacobsen, R., 13. Jun 2019, In : Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series C (Applied Statistics). 68, 5, p. 1351-1370

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Compositional Data
Data analysis
61 Downloads (Pure)

The contribution of urbanization to changes in life expectancy in Scotland, 1861–1910

Torres, C., Canudas-Romo, V. & Oeppen, J., 2019, In : Population Studies. 73, 3, p. 387-404

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Open Access
life expectancy
urban area
twentieth century
16 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
Health Policy
Regression Analysis
Multiway Analysis
Life Table
Compositional Data

Decomposing the Differences in Cancer Mortality between Denmark and Sweden

Bergeron Boucher, M-P., Wensink, M. J., Lindahl-Jacobsen, R., Zarulli, V., Rizzi, S., Oeppen, J. & Christensen, K., 8. Jan 2018.

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review

Delayed Diagnosis
Tobacco Use

Activities 2014 2018

Is there a universal pattern of mortality decline?

Marie-Pier Bergeron Boucher (Speaker), James Oeppen (Other), Søren Kjærgaard (Other)
Jun 2018

Activity: Talks and presentationsConference presentations

Decomposing the differences in cancer mortality

Marie-Pier Bergeron Boucher (Speaker), Maarten Jan Wensink (Other), Rune Lindahl-Jacobsen (Other), James Oeppen (Guest lecturer), Silvia Rizzi (Other)
Apr 2018

Activity: Talks and presentationsConference presentations

A Compositional Approach to Distributing Forecasts of Fertility by Birth Order

James Oeppen (Guest lecturer)
14. Feb 201816. Feb 2018

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalks and presentations in private or public companies

Forecasting Mortality by Cause of Death

James Oeppen (Guest lecturer)
24. Oct 2017

Activity: Talks and presentationsGuest lectures, external teaching and course activities at other universities

Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research 21st Anniversary

James Oeppen (Participant)
18. Oct 201720. Oct 2017

Activity: Attending an eventOrganisation or participation in workshops, courses or seminars

Projects 2018 2019