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Sci. Aging Knowl. Environ., 6 April 2005
Vol. 2005, Issue 14, p. pe9
[DOI: 10.1126/sageke.2005.14.pe9]


Future Mortality: A Bumpy Road to Shangri-La?

Shripad Tuljapurkar

The author is in the Department of Biological Sciences at Stanford University, Stanford CA 94305, USA. E-mail: tulja{at}

Key Words: health • mortality • risk factor • obesity • life expectancy

Abstract: Americans are getting fatter, and it is known that increased obesity may increase the risk of death. Olshansky et al. have argued that this increase in obesity will likely slow, or even reverse, increases in life expectancy in the United States and perhaps save U.S. Social Security as a result. We discuss historical changes in the mortality rate and the reasons why other analyses argue that life expectancies will continue to increase. We also discuss the limitations of using single risk factors such as obesity as predictors of mortality risk. Finally, we explore the relation between risk factors and the long-term historical increase in human life expectancy.

Citation: S. Tuljapurkar, Future Mortality: A Bumpy Road to Shangri-La? Sci. Aging Knowl. Environ. 2005 (14), pe9 (2005).

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Misdirection on the Road to Shangri-La.
S. J. Olshansky, B. A. Carnes, R. Hershow, D. Passaro, J. Layden, J. Brody, L. Hayflick, R. N. Butler, D. B. Allison, and D. S. Ludwig (2005)
Sci. Aging Knowl. Environ. 2005, pe15
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