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  #41  
Old 10-21-2009, 06:30 AM
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UK stats
http://www.statistics.gov.uk/pdfdir/liexnr1009.pdf
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  #42  
Old 11-13-2009, 04:57 AM
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Telomeres and long life
http://www.einstein.yu.edu/home/news.asp?id=435

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November 11, 2009 — (BRONX, NY) — A team led by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University has found a clear link between living to 100 and inheriting a hyperactive version of an enzyme that rebuilds telomeres — the tip ends of chromosomes. The findings appear in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Telomeres play crucial roles in aging, cancer and other biological processes. Their importance was recognized last month, when three scientists were awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for determining the structure of telomeres and discovering how they protect chromosomes from degrading.

Telomeres are relatively short sections of specialized DNA that sit at the ends of all chromosomes. One of the Nobel Prize winners, Elizabeth Blackburn, Ph.D., of the University of California at San Francisco, has compared telomeres to the plastic tips at the ends of shoelaces that prevent the laces from unraveling.

Each time a cell divides, its telomeres erode slightly and become progressively shorter with each cell division. Eventually, telomeres become so short that their host cells stop dividing and lapse into a condition called cell senescence. As a result, vital tissues and important organs begin to fail and the classical signs of aging ensue.

In investigating the role of telomeres in aging, the Einstein researchers studied Ashkenazi Jews because they are a homogeneous population that was already well studied genetically. Three groups were enrolled: 86 very old — but generally healthy people (average age 97); 175 of their offspring; and 93 controls (offspring of parents who had lived a normal lifespan
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  #43  
Old 11-28-2009, 04:05 AM
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Lightbulb New CMI projections model + need a separate subforum on mortality?

Apologies if this is the wrong place to post this - I wanted to find a subforum specifically on mortality, because this topic (Longevity watch) is within the Life subforum, and mortality affects Pensions as well.

The UK CMI (Continuous Mortality Investigation) Bureau has just published details of a new model for projecting mortality improvements, see "CMI Working Paper 41 and the launch of the new CMI Mortality Projections model" at http://www.actuaries.org.uk/knowledge/cmi (which is the home page for the CMI bureau).
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  #44  
Old 11-28-2009, 07:54 AM
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Yes, this is where this should go. I've gone to the CMI webpages before for models and research.
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  #45  
Old 11-28-2009, 12:51 PM
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Can't remember if I put these links in yet:
http://longevity-risk.org/

Roundtable: Longevity risk

From the second link:
Quote:
Ngwenya: What are the main considerations around diversification benefits for longevity risk interactions with mortality risk?

Paul Sweeting: A lot of people think that if you write life insurance business then you should also write annuity business because it is clearly a diversifier or perhaps even a hedge. There is some evidence that this has been reflected in premium rates in the US. But most of the life insurance sold is going to younger people, so you are looking at very different populations when compared to annuitants. If health improves it’s likely to improve at all ages but you’ve often got different diseases affecting each group and different policy considerations too.

The socio-economic groups are also important as you won’t necessarily be selling annuities to the same people you’ll be selling life insurance to. Mortality improvements affect different socio-economic groups at different times, which gives you less of a direct hedge — when treatments become available on the NHS that might have already been available privately, for example, and the lifestyle factors exhibited in the groups in terms of things like smoking and diet and exercise.

Jennifer Donohue: Adding to the longevity parameters, the extension of longevity won’t just be based on age-related diseases. Elizabeth Blackburn has just won the Nobel Prize for her work in bio-molecular medicine which may eventually make it possible to stop the ageing of a cell. She’s discovered the function of telomerase that operates to protect the DNA from degrading. So at 20 or 30, people could stop ageing. That could have some incredibly serious economic consequences. You could be looking at people having four or five careers and so on.

Sweeting: But who will pay for that research to extend life indefinitely? The difficulty in getting the current retirement age up from 65 to 67 probably isn’t going to have much of an impact if the average life span is 250 years, so extending life is a major policy issue.

A lot of the research so far has been around expected longevity improvements and much less on the uncertainty surrounding them. One of the areas where it’s stark is whether there is a rectangularisation of mortality or not. If you carry on curing things, does that mean everybody lives to 120 and then falls off their perch? Or do you start curing old age? The uncertainty around your central estimate for improvement can change hugely which impacts how much economic capital you should hold.

David Melzer: On the scientific issues there are probably seven or eight known major ageing processes, of which telomeres are involved in only one. There have been fantastic results from very primitive organisms in fiddling with telomeres and genes but the effect decreases pretty dramatically when you get up to the higher organisms, the mammals and so on. The best life extension we’ve got in mice, for example, is about a third and the most powerful thing is actually caloric restriction, avoiding obesity.

Some of the cancer protection pathways are incredibly complex and the number of steps between the telomere breakthroughs and turning them into a treatment is enormous. Might it happen? Of course it might happen. Does it look likely? No, not really. So we probably need to be a bit more cautious. On the other hand, we are living in an age of comprehensive biology where you can do the sort of work that would have taken thousands of research lives in a month, so it’s impossible to know where that’s going to lead in the future.
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  #46  
Old 11-28-2009, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Ngwenya: What are the main considerations around diversification benefits for longevity risk interactions with mortality risk?

Paul Sweeting: A lot of people think that if you write life insurance business then you should also write annuity business because it is clearly a diversifier or perhaps even a hedge. There is some evidence that this has been reflected in premium rates in the US. But most of the life insurance sold is going to younger people, so you are looking at very different populations when compared to annuitants. If health improves it’s likely to improve at all ages but you’ve often got different diseases affecting each group and different policy considerations too.
A guy at the Boston SOA meeting said something similar, but even more strongly, claiming that there is likely no hedging advantage because of age differences. He gave the world wars as an example.

I don't buy it.

First, since when is life insurance mostly bought by young people? There is boatloads of life insurance being sold to people in 40's and 50's and higher, and when you measure mortality risks that need hedging, these are probably the most important groups to hedge. These groups are certainly much more likely to be similar to the annuitant age group in terms of types of changes in mortality.

Second an evem more promising hedge is to cover life and longevity risks on the exact same persons (die too soon, live too long).

Also, given the likely nature of modern or future wars, I even think that is less of an important risk differential by age, than it was in the past.

Chuck
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  #47  
Old 11-28-2009, 05:46 PM
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Well, 40s is "young" now, didn't you get the memo?

[that's so the 60-something boomers can pretend they're middle-aged and not old]
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  #48  
Old 11-29-2009, 06:54 PM
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First, since when is life insurance mostly bought by young people? There is boatloads of life insurance being sold to people in 40's and 50's and higher,
But most of them are still under 60.

Whereas the vast majority, I figure over 90%, of annuitized annuities are held by somebody over 60.

When somebody in the under-60 crowd dies, the life insurer takes a big loss from that premature death. But they can't save much money from the annuity owners who die before 60, because almost none of them have annuitized yet. Those early deaths of annuity owners may even cost the insurer a lot of money, if the annuity has a death benefit that can be larger than the cash value.
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  #49  
Old 11-30-2009, 09:33 AM
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Two points. First is basis risk, since the age distribution of payout annuitants and life insureds are rather different. In addition, the motiviations are different in buying life insurance or taking an annuity, so there will be somewhat different self-selection effects in the two groups.

Second. I don't think it will be easy to get comparable financial impacts on both groups for the same change in mortality. Not impossible, but you will need to do some simulations to see how much mortality side risk to balance against longevity side risk.
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  #50  
Old 11-30-2009, 04:32 PM
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Cool old = (life expectancy < 5 years)

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Well, 40s is "young" now, didn't you get the memo?

[that's so the 60-something boomers can pretend they're middle-aged and not old]

My older brother turned 65 last month. I asked him what it's like to be "upper middle-age" now. He's starting a new career.
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