Exceptional Longevity: Are Socioeconomic Conditions in Childhood Important?

Valérie Jarry, Université de Montréal
Alain Gagnon, Université de Montréal
Robert R. Bourbeau, Université de Montréal

A substantial body of literature has focused on early familial life as a source of longevity differential in very old age. In this paper, we utilized an event-history database that links age at death of individuals (siblings of centenarians and controls) to their childhood characteristics gathered from the 1901 and 1911 Canadian census records. We verify on one hand if early-life factors that influence a normal person's survival also have an effect on the longevity of long-lived persons. On the other hand, we compare the influence of childhood conditions on the odds of surviving, first from age 40 to age 75 and then, from age 75 to age 90. The effects of early-life conditions were found to be much smaller for women than for men as well as for siblings of centenarians, suggesting that mortality determinants among exceptionally old individuals may be different from those among younger persons.

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Presented in Poster Session 7