Life Expectancy in 2040: What Do Clinical Experts Expect?

Vladimir Canudas-Romo, Max Planck Odense Center
Eva Dugoff, Johns Hopkins University
Albert Wu, Johns Hopkins University
Saifuddin Ahmed, Johns Hopkins University
Gerard Anderson, Johns Hopkins University

Standard life expectancy projections use historical trends to project the future, which cannot account for anticipated changes in medical practice and public health. We use an alternative approach that includes expert clinical opinion to suggest where likely changes in preventing and treating important disease conditions are likely to alter life expectancy by year 2040. We compare the life expectancy estimates to those published by the Social Security Administration. There is agreement among the two approaches that life expectancy at age twenty will increase by approximately one year per decade for both females and males between now and 2040. The clinical experts provide the additional information that 70 percent of the improvement in life expectancy will likely occur in cardiovascular disease and cancer. Life expectancy is a fundamental determinant of the financial solvency of the Social Security and Medicare programs. The mortality projection proposal presented here complements the current SSA approach.

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Presented in Session 25: Forecasting USA Mortality: Methods and New Findings