Does the risk of death continue to rise among supercentenarians?
In: Maier, H.
, Jeune, B., Vaupel, J. W. (Eds.): Exceptional lifespans
Demographic research monographs -
Cham, Springer (2021)
A study published in the Society of Actuaries’ 2017 Living to 100 Monograph suggests, in contrast to previous research, that the risk of death after age 110 years increases with age. By fitting a Gompertz model to estimated central death rates for the oldest old, the authors challenge existing theory and empirical research indicating a deceleration of mortality at older ages and the emergence of a plateau. We argue that their results are inconclusive for three reasons: (1) the data selection was arbitrary; (2) the statistical analysis was inappropriate; and (3) the presentation of the results is misleading and inadequate. We therefore claim that the hypothesis that the human force of mortality increases after age 110 has not been proved.