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Steven Martin, Urban Institute

Rising mid-life mortality in the US: When did it start, and who is it affecting?
When Feb 05, 2018
from 12:00 PM to 01:00 PM
Where 1101 Morrill Hall
Contact Name
Contact Phone 301-405-6403
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About the Presentation

Death rates among young- and middle-age adults in the US have been increasing. This fact has not been in dispute, but almost everything else about the topic is under debate – including which standardization methods to use and upon which causes of death, age groups, race groups, genders, and geographies we should focus. So far, researchers have failed to reach a shared understanding of why this is happening. To clarify the discussion, Dr. Martin and his colleague Nan Astone conducted a demographic analysis to get the ages and time frames as correct as possible. For US women and for US men, they ask: 1) When did this increase in death rates begin? and 2) At what ages has the increase been happening?

They use Vital Statistics on Mortality and US intercensal population estimates by year and by exact year of age to compute age-specific death rates to as long ago as the data permit – to 1980. Two patterns stand out: 1. For young adults, periods of rising mortality date back at least to the mid-1980s. 2. Patterns of rising death rates are following a generational pattern, with unusually high death rates for adults born in the early 1960s and late 1980s.

Dr. Martin will discuss ways these observed patterns could be artifacts of errors in the data, possible implications for future mortality, & how these data could inform research on the social and economic causes of broad mortality trends. He will present provisional analyses for separate race and ethnic groups and discuss the limitations.

About the Speaker

Steven Martin

Dr. Martin is a Senior Research Associate at the Urban Institute with a specialization in Family Demography. He works on numerous topics related to quantitative analysis of policy outcomes. His published work includes analyses of event histories of interdependent events (such as teen sexual initiation and non-marital fertility), time use, quality of life measures, attitudinal measures, and a variety of other work with survey, census, and vital statistics data. Dr. Martin has worked (and published) in the area of data quality, including the analysis of predictors of response error for different types of respondent recall under different survey formats.

Slides available here

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