1. Epidemiology and Global Health
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Future life expectancy in Europe taking into account the impact of smoking, obesity and alcohol

  1. Fanny Janssen  Is a corresponding author
  2. Anastasios Bardoutsos
  3. Shady El Gewily
  4. Joop De Beer
  1. Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) & Dept of Demography, Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen, Netherlands
  2. Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen, Netherlands
Research Article
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Cite this article as: eLife 2021;10:e66590 doi: 10.7554/eLife.66590

Abstract

Introduction: In Europe, women can expect to live on average 82 years, and men 75 years. Forecasting how life expectancy will develop in the future is essential for society. Most forecasts rely on a mechanical extrapolation of past mortality trends, which leads to unreliable outcomes because of temporal fluctuations in the past trends due to lifestyle 'epidemics'.

Methods: We project life expectancy for 18 European countries by taking into account the impact of smoking, obesity, and alcohol on mortality, and the mortality experiences of forerunner populations.

Results: We project that life expectancy in these 18 countries will increase from, on average, 83.4 years for women and 78.3 years for men in 2014 to 92.8 years for women and 90.5 years for men in 2065. Compared to others (Lee-Carter, Eurostat, United Nations), we project higher future life expectancy values and more realistic differences between countries and sexes.

Conclusions: Our results imply longer individual lifespans, and more elderly in society.

Funding: Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) (grant no. 452-13-001).

Data availability

Some of our original data regarding lifestyle-attributable mortality were based on previous publications, which, in turn, used data that are openly available. The all-cause mortality data and the exposure data can be obtained through the Human Mortality Database. We have provided source data files for all our tables and figures. These comprise the numerical data that are represented in the different figures, and the output on which the different tables are based. In addition, one excel file with all the final numerical / output data that were used as input for the tables and figures will be made available at the Open Science Framework: https://osf.io/ghu45/. In addition, we will upload there the underlying observed age-specific mortality rates (all-cause mortality, non-lifestyle-attributable mortality, lifestyle-attributable mortality) as well as the adjusted and projected age-specific mortality rates (medians and 90% and 95% projection intervals). The different R codes used for the different steps of the data analyses will be shared - as well - through the Open Science Framework link above.

Article and author information

Author details

  1. Fanny Janssen

    NA, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) & Dept of Demography, Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen, The Hague, Netherlands
    For correspondence
    janssen@nidi.nl
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
    ORCID icon "This ORCID iD identifies the author of this article:" 0000-0002-3110-238X
  2. Anastasios Bardoutsos

    Demography Department, Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  3. Shady El Gewily

    Demography Department, Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.
  4. Joop De Beer

    NA, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI) & Dept of Demography, Faculty of Spatial Sciences, University of Groningen, The Hague, Netherlands
    Competing interests
    The authors declare that no competing interests exist.

Funding

the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (Innovational Research Incentives Scheme Vici,452-13-001)

  • Fanny Janssen
  • Anastasios Bardoutsos
  • Shady El Gewily

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.

Reviewing Editor

  1. Belinda Nicolau, McGill University, Canada

Publication history

  1. Received: January 15, 2021
  2. Accepted: June 28, 2021
  3. Accepted Manuscript published: July 6, 2021 (version 1)

Copyright

© 2021, Janssen et al.

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.

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