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Journal Article

Do vanguard populations pave the way towards higher life expectancy for other population groups?

Jasilionis, D., Shkolnikov, V. M., Andreev, E. M., Jdanov, D. A., Vågerö, D., Meslé, F., Vallin, J.

Population: English Edition, 69:4, 531-556 (2014)

DOI:10.3917/pope.1404.0531

Keywords: Finland, Norway, Sweden, differential mortality, education, life expectancy, marital status

Abstract

The mechanisms of increasing human longevity have been elucidated in part by observing vanguard groups whose mortality has decreased more quickly than the rest of the population. In the case of the three Nordic countries (Finland, Norway and Sweden), this pioneer group is made up of married, highly educated individuals. Using census-linked mortality data, the authors compare trends in life expectancy and mortality by cause of death between this vanguard group and the rest of the population from the 1970s to the 1990s. The study shows that besides simply following directions shown by the vanguard groups, non-vanguard groups have their own pathways to low mortality which are related to specific determinants of mortality changes.

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