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Determinants of Mortality at Older Ages: The Role of Biological Markers of Chronic Disease

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Researchers have had a longstanding interest in understanding the determinants of mortality. This article examines the impact of a broad array of biological markers, together with self-reports of physical and mental health status, on the probability of dying for older adults. The estimates are derived from logistic regression models based on data from a national survey in Taiwan. The analysis confirms previous studies demonstrating the effects of clinical measures related to metabolic syndrome on mortality and identifies detrimental effects of neuroendocrine and immune-system markers. The results reveal that biomarkers provide independent explanatory power in the presence of self-reported health measures. The associations between biomarkers and mortality found here provide new avenues for projecting future mortality and elucidating differences in longevity across populations.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Research Associate, Office of Population Research and Center for Health and Wellbeing, Princeton University, and Cedeplar, Federal University of Minas Gerais 2: Professor of Demography and Public Affairs, Office of Population Research, Princeton University 3: Assistant Professor, Center on Aging and Health and Department of Population and Family Health Sciences, Johns Hopkins University 4: Research Demographer, Department of Demography, University of California, Berkeley 5: Section Chief, Population and Health Research Center, Bureau of Health Promotion, Department of Health, Taiwan 6: Distinguished Professor of Population and Health, Center for Population and Health, Georgetown University.

Publication date: December 1, 2005

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