The Demography and Epidemiology of Human Health and Aging

Springer Science & Business Media
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With this book, Siegel, an internationally known demographer and gerontologist, has made a unique contribution to the fledgling fields of health demography, and the demography and epidemiology of aging. The book represents a felicitous union of epidemiology, gerontology, and demography, and appears to be the first and only comprehensive text on this subject now available. Drawing on a wide range of sciences in addition to demography, gerontology, and epidemiology, including medical sociology, biostatistics, public policy, bioethics, and molecular biology, the author treats theoretical and applied issues, links methods and findings, covers the material internationally, nationally, and locally, and while focusing on the elderly, treats the entire life course. The methods, materials, and pespectives of demography and epidemiology are brought to bear on such topics as the prospects for future increases in human longevity, the relative contribution of life style, environment, genetics, and chance in human longevity, the measurement of the share of healthy years in total life expectancy, the role of population growth in the rising costs of health care, and the applications of health demography in serving the health needs of local communities. The separate chapters systematically develop the topics of the sources and quality of health data; mortality, life tables, and the measurement of health status; the interrelationships of health, on the one hand, and mortality, fertility, migration, and age structure, on the other; health conditions in the less developed countries; the concepts and theories of aging and projections of the aged population; and local health applications, public health policy, and bioethical issues in health demography. Given its comprehensiveness, clarity, interdisciplinary scope, and authencity, this book appeals to a wide range of users, from students and teachers of medical sociology, the demography of aging, and public health studies to practitioners in these areas, both as a text in health demography and the demography/epidemiology of aging, and as a reference work in these fields.
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About the author

S. Jay Olshansky, a senior research scientist at the University of Chicago, is internationally recognized as an expert in the field of aging.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Springer Science & Business Media
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Published on
Sep 30, 2011
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Pages
985
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ISBN
9789400713154
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Language
English
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Genres
Family & Relationships / Life Stages / Later Years
Medical / Epidemiology
Medical / Geriatrics
Medical / Public Health
Social Science / Demography
Social Science / Gerontology
Social Science / Sociology / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Social differences in health and mortality constitute a persistent finding in epidemiological, demographic, and sociological research. This topic is increasingly discussed in the political debate and is among the most urgent public health issues. However, it is still unknown if socioeconomic mortality differences increase or decrease with age.

This book provides a comprehensive, thoughtful and critical discussion of all aspects involved in the relationship between socioeconomic status, health and mortality. In a well-written language, it synthesizes the sociological theory of social inequality and an empirical study of mortality differences that has been performed at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (Rostock, Germany).

The best available datasets from Denmark and the USA, as two very different countries, are used to analyze the age pattern of social mortality differences, the Danish register data covering the whole Danish population between 1980 and 2002.

This study is the most comprehensive analysis of socioeconomic mortality differences in the literature, in terms of data quantity, quality, and the statistical method of event-history modeling. It makes important new theoretical and empirical contributions. With a new method it also addresses the question whether the measurement of social mortality differences in old age so far has been biased by mortality selection due to unobserved heterogeneity.

"This book signifies an important step forward in theory, empirical data analysis and methodology and an advancement for many disciplines involved in the subject of socioeconomic differences in old age mortality". Prof. Dr. Gabriele Doblhammer, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany

This stimulating, carefully-researched book on The Late Life Legacy of Very Early Life by Dr. Gabriele Doblhammer is the second volume of a new series of Demographic Research Monographs published by Springer Verlag. The topic of the book is fascinating. Is a person's lifespan influ enced by health and nutrition in-utero and shortly after birth? If so, why? The answers uncovered by the diligence, demographic and statistical ex pertise, and probing intelligence of the author are surprising but convinc ing. To pry open the mystery of the lingering impact of very early life, Dr. Doblharnmer focuses on month of birth. It turns out that people born in some months live substantially longer on average than people born in other months, not because of astrological forces but for reasons of health and nutrition. Dr. Doblhammer was educated in statistics and demography and earlier this year was the first person ever to receive the "Habilitation" de gree, the recognition given in the German-speaking world to proven scho lars who are qualified to become professors, in Demography. This book, which is evidence that she fully deserves this award, will not only provide important new fmdings about the legacy of early life but will also serve as a comprehensive foundation of knowledge on which future scholars can build. The series of Demographic Research Monographs is under the editorial supervision of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research. Prof. James W. Vaupel, Founding Director of the Institute, is Editor-in-Chief.
A Generation of Change is an exceptional study of the nation's elderly, a population that has undergone profound changes in the years since World War II. As modern medicine extends the average life span and the baby boom generation begins to approach middle age, the number of older Americans is expected to more than double in the next century. Currently, 75 percent of U.S. health care expenditures go toward the elderly. But as national trends toward early retirement and low birthrate continue, an aging American population could face crises in meeting their financial and physical needs. According to Jacob S. Siegel in A Generation of Change, astute public planning must be informed by an understanding of the demographic, social, and economic characteristics of the older population, as it is today and as it will be in the coming years. Siegel employs census and survey data from 1950 through the mid-1980s to describe a population constantly shifting in its ethnic and gender composition, geographic distribution, marital and living arrangements, health, employment, and economic status. Surprisingly, there is tremendous disparity in the quality of life among the elderly. Although their average poverty rate is below that of the general population, there are dramatic levels of poverty among older women, who are far more likely than men to live alone or in institutions. As the elderly progress from the "young old" to the "aged old"—those over 85—sharp differences emerge as income and employment decrease and degrees of chronic illness increase. In addition, residential location influences the quality of health care and public assistance available to the elderly, an effect that may account for the marked migration of older people to Florida and Arizona. Siegel analyzes the full range of characteristics for this heterogenous population and, through comparisons with other age groups as well as with the elderly of the previous decades, portrays the crucial influence of social and economic conditions over the life course on the quality of later life. With our elderly population growing more numerous and long lived, accurate information about them is increasingly essential. A Generation of Change will serve as a valuable resource for policymakers seeking more effective solutions in critical areas such as housing, long-term health care, and the funding of Social Security and retirement programs. A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation Census Series
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