Journal Article

Born together-die together. Live together-die together. The role of the partner and of the co-twin on longevity at very old ages

Tomassini, C., Billari, F. C., Rosina, A., Christensen, K.
Genus, LVII:3-4, 63–82 (2001)


The loss of a spouse and of a co-twin have been shown to be associated with increased mortality in various studies. In this paper, we study the impact of both kinds of loss on very old people, using the Longitudinal Study of Aging of Danish Twins. Firstly, we analyse the effect of co-residing with the spouse/partner or having a living co-twin on subsequent mortality. We found that living with the partner and the survival of a monozygotic co-twin significantly lowers mortality. Secondly, we study the effect of losing the partner and/or the co-twin on subsequent mortality, using exact logistic regression. In the latter approach, only the loss of the twin significanlt increases mortality. Taken together, these analyses indicate that both partnership and genetic factors play a role in survival at very old ages.
Keywords: Denmark, twins
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.