January 07, 2020 | News

Thesis successfully defended

The examining committee, from left to right: Yves Carrière, Andrew Noymer, Alain Gagnon, Enrique Acosta, Nadine Ouellette, and Simona Bignami.
© Lisa Y. Dillon

Enrique Acosta from the Laboratory of Population Health defended his doctoral thesis with the mention of “exceptional” and was recommended for the Dean´s list of honor at the Département de démographie at the Université de Montréal.

The main objective of his dissertation titled “Age, Period, and Cohort Effects on Adult Mortality due to Extrinsic Causes of Death” was to examine the cohort influences on extrinsic mortality change. Therefore, Acosta aimed to quantify cohort differences in mortality from influenza in the United States. He also analyzed the influence of early life exposures to the virus on subsequent influenza mortality, there. Secondly, his goal was to examine the baby boomers’ disadvantage in mortality in Canada and the United States, while identifying the contributions of behavioral causes to this disadvantage. Thirdly, he developed a methodological tool that can be used to both conduct visual analysis of the temporal dynamics of nonlinear Age-Period-Cohort (APC) effects, and compare these dynamics across various phenomena or populations.

The findings he presents in his dissertation offer evidence of the importance of analyzing cohort effects on extrinsic mortality. The results indicate that even in the presence of substantial period disturbances affecting extrinsic mortality at most ages, cohort effects were sustained over time.

These findings also suggest that public policies can significantly improve the health of the population by formulating policies that take into account the differential sensitivity of cohorts to risk factors and by providing social support to the most vulnerable cohorts.

The thesis was supervised by Alain Gagnon and co-supervised by Nadine Ouellette, both from the Département de démographie, Université de Montréal. Enrique Acosta defended his thesis on December 13th.

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.