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MPIDR Working Paper

Time-to-death patterns in markers of age and dependency

Riffe, T., Chung, P. H., Spijker, J., MacInnes, J.

MPIDR Working Paper WP-2015-003, 31 pages (July 2015).
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

This is the second version, pre-proof. The article will be published in v 15 of the Vienna Yearbook of Population Research.

Keywords: USA, age, demographic accounting, disability, methodology, morbidity, mortality

Abstract

We aim to determine the extent to which variables commonly used to describe health, wellbeing, and disability in old-age vary primarily as a function of years lived (chronological age), years left (thanatological age), or as a function of both. We analyze data from the US Health and Retirement Study to estimate chronological age and time-to-death patterns in 78 such variables. We describe results from the birth cohort born 1915-1919 in the final 12 years of life. Our results show that most markers used to study well-being in old-age vary along both the age and time-to-death dimensions, but some markers are exclusively a function of either time to death or chronological age, and others display different patterns between the sexes.

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