It has been known for over a hundred years that serious medical conditions
affect life expectancy. Some of the more common conditions are:
- Hypertension, atherosclerosis, history of heart attacks
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
- Cerebrovascular accidents (stroke)
- Chronic renal insufficiency
- Diabetes mellitus
Other negative factors for life expectancy include:
- Lifestyle: Smoking, alcoholism, drug abuse
- Education: High school education or less
However, there are also positive factors for life expectancy, such as:
- Lifestyle: Non-smoker, moderate use of alcohol
- Education: Bachelors degree or higher
- Religion: Mormon or Jehovah's Witness
- Being slightly below average weight
We have published peer-reviewed medical articles on life expectancy in many of these conditions, including:
Heart Disease: LaMont DH, Budoff MJ, Shavelle DM, Shavelle RM, Brundage BH, Hagar JM (2002). Coronary calcium scanning adds incremental value to patients with positive stress tests. American Heart Journal, 143:861-867.
Cancer: Shavelle RM, Vavra-Musser K, Lee J, Brooks J (2017). Life expectancy in pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma. Lung Cancer International, Volume 2017, Article ID 2782590, 8 pages. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/2782590.
Family History: Shavelle RM, Paculdo DP (2012). The effect of exceptional parental longevity on life expectancy. Journal of the American Gerontological Society, 60:1185.
Anemia: Shavelle RM, Mackenzie R, Paculdo DR (2012). Anemia and mortality in older persons: Does the type of anemia affect survival? Int J Hematol, 95:248-256. Epub 2012 Feb 21.
Dementia/Alzheimers: Shavelle RM, Paculdo DR, Strauss DJ, Kush SJ (2009). Cognitive impairment and mortality in the Cardiovascular Health Study. Journal of Insurance Medicine, 41:110–116.
COPD: Shavelle RM, Paculdo DR, Kush SJ, Mannino DM, Strauss DJ (2009). Life expectancy and years of life lost in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: Findings from the NHANES III follow-up study. International Journal of COPD, 4:137-148.
Smoking: Shavelle RM, Paculdo DR, Strauss DJ, Kush SJ (2008). Smoking habit and mortality: A meta-analysis. Journal of Insurance Medicine, 40:170-178.
Kidney Disease/ESRD: Shavelle RM (2013). Overestimation of Life Expectancy in CKD [letter]. American Journal of Kidney Disease, 62(2):395-396.
[The studies referenced above are available on the articles page.]
It is desirable to take into account all major risk factors, both positive and negative.
This is possible using standard actuarial methods, together with information
from the medical literature.