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Future mortality: integrating smoking, alcohol and obesity (VIDI)

Information concerning future life expectancy is crucial for public policy, social security, pension and insurance schemes, and healthcare planning. However, estimates of future mortality often prove inaccurate, as conventional extrapolative mortality projection methods cannot capture (i) the impact of lifestyle ‘epidemics’, different over time between men and women, and across generations and countries; and (ii) the delay in ageing: the 90-year-olds of today roughly resemble the 80-year-olds of the past.

Key to mortality forecasting is distinguishing between:

  1. the general gradual long-term mortality decline, mainly due to socio-economic factors and associated medical improvements, and accompanied by a delay in ageing expressed as a shift in the age-at-death distribution towards older ages
  2. The smoking, alcohol, and obesity ‘epidemics’ which cause deviations from and variations in the general mortality decline, and greatly affect premature mortality and the shape of the age-at-death distribution.

Within this project these two components will be included simultaneously in a novel mortality projection methodology with the overall aim to improve the robustness of future mortality estimates for Europe.

Key objectives are:

  1. To assess the past and anticipated future trends in smoking-, alcohol-, and obesity-attributable mortality; and the differences in these trends across countries, sexes, and birth cohorts.
  2. To assess the roles of both the delay in ageing and changes in the shape of the age-at-death distribution in the gradual long-term mortality trend, and the changes in these roles over time.
  3. To develop a mortality projection technique that integrates future lifestyle-related mortality trends and future patterns in the age-at-death distribution, and to apply this technique to European populations.

This VIDI project is funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) (grant no. 452-13-001).



Beer, J.A.A. de, Bardoutsos, A. & Janssen, F. (2017),
Maximum human lifespan will increase to 125 years. Nature 546 (7660): E16-E17. [URL]
Beer, J.A.A. de. & Janssen, F. (2017),
Wordt het record van de oudste Nederlander snel gebroken? Demos: bulletin over bevolking en samenleving 33. [URL]
Bijlsma, M.J., Daniel, R.M., Janssen, F. & De Stavola, B.L. (2017),
An assessment and extension of the mechanism-based approach to the identification of age-period-cohort models. Demography 54 (2): 721-743. [URL]
Janssen, F. (2017),
Toekomstige levensverwachting van 90 jaar niet opzienbarend. Demos: bulletin over bevolking en samenleving 33 (3): 4-6. [URL]
Trias-Llimós, S., Bijlsma, M. & Janssen, F. (2017),
The role of birth cohorts in long-term trends in liver cirrhosis mortality across eight European countries. Addiction 112 (2): 250-258. [URL]
Beer, J.A.A. de & Janssen, F. (2016),
A new parametric model to assess delay and compression of mortality. Population Health Metrics 14 (46): 1-21. [URL]
Janssen, F. & Beer, J.A.A. de (2016),
Projecting future mortality in the Netherlands taking into account mortality delay and smoking. Joint Eurostat/UNECE Work Session on Demographic Projections. Working paper 18. [URL]
Janssen, F., Hende, A. van den, Beer, J.A.A. de & Wissen, L.J.G. van (2016),
Sigma and beta convergence in regional mortality; a case study for the Netherlands. Demographic Research 35 (4): 81-116. [URL]
Janssen, F. & Poppel, F.W.A. van (2016),
Roken veroorzaakte vroeger grote verschillen in levensverwachting. Demos: bulletin over bevolking en samenleving 32 (6): 4-6. [URL]
Muszyńska, M. & Janssen, F. (2016),
The concept of the Equivalent Length of Life for quantifying differences in age-at-death distributions across countries. Genus 72 (6): 1-14. [URL]
Poppel, F.W.A. van & Janssen, F. (2016),
The mortality gender gap in the Netherlands 1850-2000. In: Dinges, M. & Weigl, A. (Eds.), Gender-Specific Life Expectancy in Europe 1850-2010. Beihefte zu Medizin, Gesellschaft und Geschichte, Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, p. 111-130.
Stoeldraijer, L., Janssen, F. & Beer, J.A.A. de (2016),
Sterke stijging van de kans om 100 te worden. Demos: bulletin over bevolking en samenleving 32 (5): 2. [URL]
Trias-Llimós, S., Muszyńska, M., Cámara, A.D. & Janssen, F. (2016),
Smoking cessation among European older adults: The contributions of marital and employment transitions by gender. European Journal of Ageing. [URL]
Janssen, F. & Poppel, F. van (2015),
The adoption of smoking and its effect on the mortality gender gap in Netherlands: A historical perspective. BioMed Research International (370274): 1-12. [URL]
Beer, J.A.A. de & Janssen, F. (2014),
The NIDI mortality model; a new model to describe the age pattern of mortality. NIDI Working Paper no. 2014/7. The Hague: NIDI. [URL]
Janssen, F. (2014),
Voorspelling van levensverwachting kan beter. Tijdschrift voor Gerontologie en Geriatrie 45(4), 183-187. [URL]


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