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  #61  
Old 12-16-2009, 05:33 PM
actuary21c actuary21c is offline
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Default Men narrow life expectancy gap in Scotland (better adoption of healthier lifestyle)

Scotland: "Men narrow life expectancy gap"

See BBC article:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/highlands_and_islands/8416349.stm

Extract from the article:
Quote:
Chief Medical Officer Harry Burns said that since 1980 male life expectancy had risen by 6.6 years to 75.3 years and by 4.9 years to 80 among females.

He said this was due to falling smoking levels and because more men were reaching recommended exercise levels.

Dr Burns said lung cancer may be more common among women than men by 2010.

He used his annual report to highlight the narrowing gap between the number of years men and women can expect to live.

Dr Burns said: "In every country women live longer than men and the same is true for Scotland.

"However current data suggests that men are narrowing the gap.

"An examination of health-related behaviours suggests that Scots men appear to be more likely than Scots women to adopt healthy behaviours."

He said that in particular, men in Scotland were less likely to be smokers than in the past and this changing pattern of behaviour appeared to be now accelerating gains in life expectancy.

The report also said that over the last 10 years more men than women have achieved the recommended levels for exercise.

Dr Burns said: "The fact that males appear to be exercising slightly more frequently than females may be contributing to the narrowed gap in life expectancy."
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  #62  
Old 12-17-2009, 05:35 AM
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Originally Posted by actuary21c View Post
Scotland: "Men narrow life expectancy gap"

See BBC article:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/highlands_and_islands/8416349.stm

Extract from the article:

If the Scots keep up that rate of improvement, they'll have caught up with the rest of the UK in a decade or two!
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  #63  
Old 12-17-2009, 05:56 AM
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If the Scots keep up that rate of improvement, they'll have caught up with the rest of the UK in a decade or two!
Indeed, there is some evidence that mortality in Scotland is significantly higher than in England and Wales, although the evidence is not entirely clear cut, with there not being enough data to reject either of the following two null hypotheses (so take your pick):

- H0: mortality in Scotland is the same as that in England and Wales
- H1: mortality in Scotland is [a bit, I can't readily find the figure to put here] higher than that in England and Wales
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Old 12-17-2009, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by actuary21c View Post
Indeed, there is some evidence that mortality in Scotland is significantly higher than in England and Wales, although the evidence is not entirely clear cut, with there not being enough data to reject either of the following two null hypotheses (so take your pick):

- H0: mortality in Scotland is the same as that in England and Wales
- H1: mortality in Scotland is [a bit, I can't readily find the figure to put here] higher than that in England and Wales

At a population level, it's pretty clear I think. And has been for 20 years:

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/STATBAS....asp?vlnk=9551

Although, to be fair, most of the difference is due to the fact that Glasgow is in Scotland. And my gut feeling is that it's more the uninsured population rather than the (analysable) insured population which is causing that one.


Must admit, I've never heard anyone argue that there's no mortality difference between the two countries. So kudos on that one!

Last edited by GargoyleWaiting; 12-17-2009 at 06:13 AM.. Reason: Found a better link to support my point...
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  #65  
Old 12-17-2009, 06:27 AM
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Originally Posted by GargoyleWaiting View Post
At a population level, it's pretty clear I think. And has been for 20 years:

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/STATBAS....asp?vlnk=9551

Although, to be fair, most of the difference is due to the fact that Glasgow is in Scotland. And my gut feeling is that it's more the uninsured population rather than the (analysable) insured population which is causing that one.


Must admit, I've never heard anyone argue that there's no mortality difference between the two countries. So kudos on that one!
Yes, the example I had in mind was more to do with insured population (in fact pension plan members) than the whole population, but was indeed a situation where the actuaries to various plans wanted to use standard UK mortality tables for pensioners. The debate was (given the view that Scottish mortality was expected to be higher than that for the UK as a whole) whether tables with higher mortality could be used, thus reducing the pension liabilities (and employer contribution cost).

The answer seemed to be that there wasn't enough data to reject the statistical hypothesis that tables with higher mortality applied. I don't know what happened in practice with regard to the actual mortality tables used for the official pension plan valuation, perhaps a compromise was used with slightly higher mortality. (I'm using US/international terminology [pension plan] here, rather than the UK terms of "pension scheme", "Scheme Actuary", since to most US people, the word "scheme" smacks of "scheming", i.e. trickery).

PS: with regard to Glasgow's contribution to higher deaths, perhaps just particular parts, not the whole of Glasgow (which has some very "nice" districts, e.g. Newton Mearns)?
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  #66  
Old 12-28-2009, 07:23 AM
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Living to 100? - on the shape of things to come
http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/a...articleid=2398

Quote:
If your children happened to be born since the year 2000 in developed countries, they will most likely live to be 100, and they will be healthier than elderly people in previous generations, according to a recent article in the medical journal The Lancet.

The implications are enormous for everything from retirement planning and health care costs to new models for the workplace and innovative approaches to education. As Olivia Mitchell, professor of insurance and risk management, states: "This is a demographic revolution the likes of which we have never seen before on earth."

....

If people live to be 100, how will that affect the retirement and health insurance systems set up to help individuals through the last decades of their lives?

As it is now, different countries have different retirement policies. In the U.S., there is no mandatory retirement -- with the exception of certain job categories such as commercial airline pilots, some judges and some top-level management -- and, in fact, in most jobs it is illegal to force people to retire. But numerous signposts act as "de facto" retirement inducers, says Mitchell. For instance, under the U.S. Social Security system, the "normal" retirement age is defined as 65 (eventually moving up to 67). The official use of the term "normal" was intended to mean the age at which someone could begin collecting unreduced benefits, but over time it became a reference age automatically associated with leaving work. Another example of this is that the system currently allows one to claim benefits as young as age 62 (though payments are reduced). "My concern is that by codifying age 62 as the age at which one can begin receiving Social Security, this age becomes a target. In fact, the typical American claims benefits at age 62, even though many would benefit substantially by delaying claiming."

In the next few years, Mitchell argues that "retirement ages will have to rise quite substantially, to 70 or beyond, to finance the baby boom generation as it moves up through the age structure." When Social Security was put in place in the 1930s, she says, "life expectancy was a lot shorter. In fact, we adopted our concept of the 'normal' retirement age from the German system which set the age of retirement at 65 because half the people never lived that long. That was a true social insurance scheme; it only covered those who outlived their life expectancy." Over time, Mitchell notes, "the U.S. transitioned from thinking about Social Security as a longevity insurance scheme, to using it as a transfer program that pays people not to work for 30 to 40 years. As life expectancies rise, and fewer young people are available to pay taxes, it gets more and more expensive to sustain the scheme. If we are to finance longer life spans, we will have to train smarter, work longer, save more for our own retirement, and restructure Social Security as the longevity insurance program it was intended to be." Retirement, Mitchell adds, "isn't going to be as appealing for future generations, as it has been for our parents."

According to Kent Smetters, Wharton professor of insurance and risk management, the Social Security and Medicare trustees have already incorporated increases in longevity in planning for payments to senior citizens. "The big debate is over whether they are incorporating enough of an increase." Longevity is an important variable, he says, because under current law, "the retirement age is not automatically indexed to increases in longevity," meaning that a larger and larger fraction of the population is going to be in retirement if they continue to live longer without facing an increase in the retirement age. "Eventually, the normal retirement age will have to become more proportional with the growing length of life, maybe 70 or even 75 over time within a few decades. That age might seem ridiculous to people now, but it probably won't in 20 or 30 years. People could still choose to retire at 62, but their benefits would be greatly reduced, based on a normal retirement age of 70 or 75."

He views the increase in people's life expectancy as "a positive development provided that we as a nation can deal with the increasing strain on entitlement programs. However, there will be some debate. The 2001 Social Security Commission encountered public opposition from labor leaders and some employers to increasing the normal retirement age. Still, when not on public record, almost everyone who testified agreed that it would eventually be necessary. The math simply requires it."

As for Medicare, "the longer people live, the more taxed the Medicare system will be," says Smetters, adding, however, that Medicare is more non-linear than Social Security, which is a cash benefit that keeps on paying. With Medicare, a majority of a recipient's health care costs are concentrated in the last two or three years of life. So "pushing out that particular portion of spending into the future will save money in present value." But another portion of money is also spent before the last few years of life: Increasing those years, therefore, increases spending. "The net effect will be to increase the Medicare costs, which is a big problem because Medicare shortfalls are already so huge and the program is already so underfunded. The crisis for Medicare will come much sooner than the crisis facing Social Security."
More at link.
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  #67  
Old 01-04-2010, 11:21 AM
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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...ians-2050.html

Quote:
Grey Britain: 280,000 Britons will be centenarians by 2050

Some 280,000 Britons will be over the age of 100 within a few decades, figures show.
The rise from just over 10,000 now suggests a rapidly ageing population will bring huge cultural change to the country. The number of pensioners is also forecast to soar to 16million by 2050.
It raises the question of how the public can possibly afford to fund the healthcare and pensions of 'grey Britons'.


But optimists may point to the possibility that the nation could end up dropping its cultural obsession with youth and make way for an older, wiser generation.
The most startling insight into the way the UK's demographics will change is offered by the rapid growth of centenarians.
Figures from the Department for Work and Pensions predict that the number of 100-year-olds will double to 22,000 by 2020, double again by 2030 and hit 280,000 in 2050.
They will be living for more than a century thanks to improved diets, medical advances and a move away from manual labour.

While those currently under the age of 60 may be looking forward to a lengthy retirement, the figures raise fears over how the pubic purse will cope.
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  #68  
Old 01-07-2010, 10:39 AM
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More to do with pensions, and pension assumptions, but here we go:
http://www.professionalpensions.com/...-professionals

Quote:
Pensions professionals are still underestimating the effect of increased longevity on their schemes, an exclusive Hewitt poll reveals.

More than 300 delegates at the Pensions Show and the National Association of Pension Funds annual conference took part in a Hewitt game to estimate the life expectancy of various groups of people with different socioeconomic characteristics.

Results showed participants undershot the current projected best estimates of life expectancy by about five years - equating to 150bn of liabilities for UK pensions.

Conference delegates were given information on some of the key factors that affect life expectancy such as individual health, wealth and lifestyle factors, together with information about pension size, address and employment profile.

Hewitt head of longevity and risk transfer solutions Martin Bird said it was "surprising" people familiar with the problem still underestimated longevity.
I'm not going to say I'm surprised, but it is a bit sad that these people would be off by so much.
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  #69  
Old 01-17-2010, 05:27 PM
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Default Scotland's higher mortality: higher alcohol consumption probably a significant factor

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Originally Posted by GargoyleWaiting View Post
If the Scots keep up that rate of improvement, they'll have caught up with the rest of the UK in a decade or two!
An update on population mortality in Scotland: a major cause of higher mortality in Scotland than in England and Wales seems to be significantly higher alcohol consumption (I suspect smoking too, but the following article talks about alchohol only):

From http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/8463333.stm:

Quote:
Adults in Scotland are drinking the equivalent of 46 bottles of vodka each in a year, a study has suggested.

The research was based on industry sales data analysed by NHS Health Scotland.

It said sales for the year to September 2009 averaged 12.2 litres of pure alcohol per person over the age of 18.

The Scottish government said the figure, which had remained static since 2005, was the equivalent of 537 pints or 130 bottles of wine per person.

The new figures come as the Scottish government pushes for a minimum price for alcohol to tackle the country's drink-related problems.

Minimum pricing

In total, 50.5 million litres of pure alcohol were sold in Scotland last year, enough for every drinker over the age of 18 to exceed the weekly consumption guidelines.

People in Scotland drank 25% more alcohol per head of population than individuals in England and Wales, the figures suggested.

In England and Wales, the total for the same period was 9.7 litres per person.

Average weekly sales for Scottish drinkers were 26.5 units per person over the age of 18, equivalent to about 11 pints of beer or three bottles of wine.

In England and Wales, the figure was 21.8, slightly higher than the recommended weekly maximum for a man.

Scottish Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said it was time for critics of minimum pricing to "wake up" to the scale of Scotland's drink problem.

She added: "All the evidence tells us that the big rise in Scottish alcohol consumption in recent decades is closely linked with the 70% drop in alcohol's relative cost.

"As a consequence, our country now faces an unprecedented burden from alcohol-related health problems, crime and lost economic productivity, which runs into billions and which we are all paying for.

"Currently there is nothing to stop supermarkets selling alcohol more cheaply than bottled water and that's why it's possible to exceed the weekly drinking guidelines for a man for less than 3.50."

Labour health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie MSP said: "I believe that alcohol abuse is the most important public health issue we face in Scotland today.

"We need to consider radical measures to reduce the level of problem drinking but minimum unit pricing is not the answer.

"The truth is that Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon are promoting a scheme that will increase the profits of the supermarkets, but won't provide a single penny for more police officers or alcohol treatment.

"The challenge now is for us to come up with something better. That is why we have created a commission under the chairmanship of Professor Sally Brown to consider ways of restricting cheap booze and tackling alcohol abuse."
One (somewhat light-hearted) point not mentioned: it is much colder in Scotland in the winter than in England and Wales, and the temptation to have a wee 'dram o' whisky or brandy may be commensurately higher. On the other hand, I don't think the Scandinavians drink as much as the Scots?!
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  #70  
Old 01-17-2010, 05:34 PM
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Ah, but the Russians....

More seriously, alcohol kills people much faster than does nicotine.
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