Projecting the Effect of Changes in Smoking and Obesity on Future Life Expectancy in the United States

45 Pages Posted: 22 Sep 2012

See all articles by Samuel H. Preston

Samuel H. Preston

University of Pennsylvania - Population Studies Center

Andrew Stokes

Johns Hopkins University

Neil Mehta

Emory University

Bochen Cao

University of Pennsylvania - Population Studies Center

Date Written: September 2012

Abstract

We project the effects of declining smoking and increasing obesity on mortality in the United States over the period 2010-2040. Data on cohort behavioral histories are integrated into these projections. Future distributions of body mass indices are projected using transition matrices applied to the initial distribution in 2010. In addition to projections of current obesity, we project distributions of obesity when cohorts were age 25. To these distributions we apply death rates by current and age-25 obesity status observed in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988-2006. Projections of the effects of smoking are based on observed relations between cohort smoking patterns and cohort death rates from lung cancer. We find that both changes in smoking and in obesity are expected to have large effects on mortality. For males, the reductions in smoking have larger effects than the rise in obesity throughout the projection period. By 2040, male life expectancy at age 40 is expected to have gained 0.92 years from the combined effects. Among women, however, the two sets of effects largely offset one another throughout the projection period, with a small gain of 0.26 years expected by 2040.

Suggested Citation

Preston, Samuel H. and Stokes, Andrew and Mehta, Neil and Cao, Bochen, Projecting the Effect of Changes in Smoking and Obesity on Future Life Expectancy in the United States (September 2012). NBER Working Paper No. w18407, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2150538

Samuel H. Preston (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Population Studies Center ( email )

3718 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6298
United States

Andrew Stokes

Johns Hopkins University ( email )

Baltimore, MD 20036-1984
United States

Neil Mehta

Emory University ( email )

201 Dowman Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

Bochen Cao

University of Pennsylvania - Population Studies Center ( email )

McNeil Bldg, 3718 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
20
Abstract Views
365
PlumX Metrics