The scientific debate on longevity and its determinants is lively and involves researchers from different disciplines. Finding a clear cut explanation for why some people live longer than others is not an easy task. Variables that are shown to be significant for longer survival in certain populations are not always relevant to individuals of other populations. Recently, researchers have identified in Sardinia the Blue Zone (BZ), thus denominated due to the significant number of cases of centenarians recorded as well as a low sex ratio value. A village located in this area was selected for the carrying out of a more detailed analysis at individual level and socio-demographic determinants of longevity were examined. Based on careful review of the existing literature, the empirical model considered factors such as sex differential, the contribution of familial transmission, and the role played by environment operationalised considering early-life conditions. The analysis of the data enabled to the estimation of mortality trajectories, which in turn confirmed the exceptional longevity of the population understudy and in particular of males. The investigation of differential survival among members of the same community brought to light the relevance of certain familial variables on survival, which are not exclusively genetic.

Searching for longevity determinants: following survival of newborns in a in-land village in Sardinia (1866-2006)

SALARIS, LUISA
2010

Abstract

The scientific debate on longevity and its determinants is lively and involves researchers from different disciplines. Finding a clear cut explanation for why some people live longer than others is not an easy task. Variables that are shown to be significant for longer survival in certain populations are not always relevant to individuals of other populations. Recently, researchers have identified in Sardinia the Blue Zone (BZ), thus denominated due to the significant number of cases of centenarians recorded as well as a low sex ratio value. A village located in this area was selected for the carrying out of a more detailed analysis at individual level and socio-demographic determinants of longevity were examined. Based on careful review of the existing literature, the empirical model considered factors such as sex differential, the contribution of familial transmission, and the role played by environment operationalised considering early-life conditions. The analysis of the data enabled to the estimation of mortality trajectories, which in turn confirmed the exceptional longevity of the population understudy and in particular of males. The investigation of differential survival among members of the same community brought to light the relevance of certain familial variables on survival, which are not exclusively genetic.
longevity; differential mortality; survival analysis; historical demography
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11584/90442
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