National Academies Press: OpenBook
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. Between Zeus and the Salmon: The Biodemography of Longevity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5740.
×

Between Zeus and the Salmon

The Biodemography of Longevity

Kenneth W. Wachter and Caleb E. Finch, Editors

Committee on Population

Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C.
1997

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. Between Zeus and the Salmon: The Biodemography of Longevity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5740.
×

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, D.C. 20418

NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.

This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences.

The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members. sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. William A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering.

The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine.

The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public. and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. William A. Wulf are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council.

This study was supported by Contract No. N01-OD-4-2139 between the National Academy of Sciences and the National Institute on Aging. Any opinions, findings. conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the organizations or agencies that provided support for this project.

Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 97-33767

International Standard Book Number 0-309-05787-6

This book is available for sale from the
National Academy Press ,
2101 Constitution Avenue. N.W. Box 285. Washington. D.C. 20055. Call 800-624-6242 or 202-334-3313 (in the Washington Metropolitan Area). Order electronically via Internet at http://www.nap.edu.

Copyright 1997 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Printed in the United States of America.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. Between Zeus and the Salmon: The Biodemography of Longevity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5740.
×

COMMITTEE ON POPULATION

RONALD D. LEE (Chair),

Department of Demography and Economics, University of California, Berkeley

CAROLINE H. BLEDSOE,

Department of Anthropology, Northwestern University

JOSÉ LUIS BOBADILLA,*

Inter-American Development Bank, Washington, D.C.

JOHN BONGAARTS,

The Population Council, New York

JOHN B. CASTERLINE,

The Population Council, New York

LINDA G. MARTIN, RAND,

Santa Monica, California

JANE MENKEN,

University of Pennsylvania

ROBERT A. MOFFITT,

Department of Economics, Johns Hopkins University

MARK R. MONTGOMERY,

The Population Council, New York

W. HENRY MOSLEY,

Department of Population Dynamics, Johns Hopkins University School of Hygiene and Public Health

ALBERTO PALLONI,

Department of Sociology, University of Wisconsin, Madison

JAMES P. SMITH, RAND,

Santa Monica, California

BETH J. SOLDO,

Department of Demography, Georgetown University

MARTA TIENDA,**

Population Research Center, University of Chicago

AMY O. TSUI,**

Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

JOHN G. HAAGA, Director

BARNEY COHEN, Program Officer

TRISH DeFRISCO, Senior Project Assistant

KAREN A. FOOTE, Program Officer (to July 1996)

JOEL A. ROSENQUIST, Senior Project Assistant

*  

deceased October 1996

**  

through October 1996

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. Between Zeus and the Salmon: The Biodemography of Longevity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5740.
×

CONTRIBUTORS

STEVEN N. AUSTAD, University of Idaho

JAMES R. CAREY, University of California, Davis

CALEB E. FINCH, University of Southern California

CATHERINE GRUENFELDER, University of California, Davis

THOMAS E. JOHNSON, University of Colorado

HILLARD KAPLAN, University of New Mexico

RONALD D. LEE, University of California, Berkeley

LINDA PARTRIDGE, University College London

MICHAEL R. ROSE, University of California, Irvine

DAVID R. SHOOK, University of Colorado

SHRIPAD TULJAPURKAR, Mountain View Research, California, and Stanford University

JAMES W. VAUPEL, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany

KENNETH W. WACHTER, University of California, Berkeley

ROBERT B. WALLACE, University of Iowa

JOHN R. WILMOTH, University of California, Berkeley

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. Between Zeus and the Salmon: The Biodemography of Longevity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5740.
×

Preface

The Committee on Population was established in 1983 by the National Research Council, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, to bring the knowledge and methods of the population sciences to bear on major issues of science and public policy. Much of the committee's work has concerned the demography and health of aging populations. Together with the Committee on National Statistics and the Institute of Medicine, the Committee on Population sponsored a Workshop on Forecasting Survival, Health, and Disability in 1992. Also in 1992, the committee organized a Workshop on the Demography of Aging covering a range of topics, from household and family demography, to work and retirement, intergenerational transfers, and health (Demography of Aging, 1994). A 1994 workshop examined the reasons for continued racial and ethnic differences in health and survival at older ages (Racial and Ethnic Differences in the Health of Older Americans, 1997). It was clear from all these efforts that future work on the progress of life expectancy at older ages would require genuine interdisciplinary communication between (and within) the social and life sciences.

This concern led the committee, with funding from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), to organize a series of planning and discussion meetings, culminating in a workshop in Washington in April 1996, at which demographers, evolutionary theorists, genetic epidemiologists, anthropologists, and biologists from many different scientific taxa could meet and share contributions to the understanding of human longevity. These were exciting occasions, as I believe this volume, consisting of revised versions of some papers originally presented at the April workshop, attests.

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. Between Zeus and the Salmon: The Biodemography of Longevity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5740.
×

The call for interdisciplinary communication is often just a polite but inconsequential line in conclusions or book reviews, or a grandiose promise in conference proposals. Making it happen productively requires a good deal of preparation and commitment on the part of scholars, all with competing demands on their time and attention. The committee was especially fortunate to get advice and help from thoughtful and busy individuals. We would like to thank Richard Suzman of NIA, who saw the need, shared his ideas, and infected all of us with his enthusiasm. Kenneth Weiss of Pennsylvania State University was especially helpful; he was uniquely qualified to tell us what would interest scientists working in a whole range of fields, and what they knew that would interest the rest. We thank Richard Hodes of NIA for his interest and support. Harold Morowitz of George Mason University, Richard Sprott, Richard Havlik, and Evan Hadley (all of NIA), and Eric Fischer of the NRC Board on Biology gave us sound advice in the design stages and good ideas in the discussions. Elizabeth Corder of Duke University and the Stockholm Gerontology Research Center, Marcus Feldman of Stanford University, Trudy Mackay of North Carolina State University, Jennifer Madans of the National Center on Health Statistics, Randolph Nesse of the University of Michigan, Alan Rogers of the University of Utah, Burton Singer of Princeton University, and Robert Willis of the University of Michigan were generous with their ideas at the workshops and afterward.

Our greatest debt is to Kenneth Wachter of the University of California, Berkeley, and Caleb Finch of the University of Southern California, who devoted time and energy to planning and chairing the workshop, guiding authors in their revisions, and editing this volume. The success of the project depended on their ability to listen and read carefully and critically, and discern what each speaker and author had to contribute to those working in different areas.

Thanks also are due to Beth Soldo, who reviewed the manuscript on behalf of the committee. Colene Walden gave a helpful copy editing of the report and drafted the Glossary. Christine McShane guided the manuscript through the publication process. Karen Foote was diligent and thorough in handling the organization of the workshop and the review process. Trish DeFrisco handled all the administrative tasks for the workshop and manuscript production with her customary efficiency and good grace. Trang Ta helped with manuscript preparation and citation checking in the final stages. John Haaga, the committee staff director, wrote the proposals, supervised the process between meetings, and ably replaced Karen as project officer when she moved to the University of Illinois.

Most of all, of course, we appreciate the contributions of authors and workshop participants. We trust that this volume will inspire others to join in their valuable work.

RONALD D. LEE

CHAIR, COMMITTEE ON POPULATION

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. Between Zeus and the Salmon: The Biodemography of Longevity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5740.
×

Contents

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

 

   

1 Between Zeus and the Salmon: Introduction
Kenneth W. Wachter

 

1

 

 

THE EMPIRICAL DEMOGRAPHY OF SURVIVAL

 

 

   

2 Trajectories of Mortality at Advanced Ages
James W. Vaupel

 

17

   

3 In Search of Limits
John R. Wilmoth

 

38

 

 

EVOLUTIONARY THEORY AND SENESCENCE

 

 

   

4 The Evolution of Senescence
Shripad Tuljapurkar

 

65

   

5 Evolutionary Biology and Age-Related Mortality
Linda Partridge

 

78

   

6 Toward an Evolutionary Demography
Michael R. Rose

 

96

   

7 Identification and Mapping of Genes Determining Longevity
Thomas E. Johnson and David R. Shook

 

108

 

 

THE ELDERLY IN NATURE

 

 

   

8 Population Biology of the Elderly
James R. Carey and Catherine Gruenfelder

 

127

   

9 Postreproductive Survival
Steven N. Austad

 

161

Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. Between Zeus and the Salmon: The Biodemography of Longevity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5740.
×
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. Between Zeus and the Salmon: The Biodemography of Longevity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5740.
×

Between Zeus and the Salmon

The Biodemography of Longevity

Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. Between Zeus and the Salmon: The Biodemography of Longevity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5740.
×
This page in the original is blank.
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. Between Zeus and the Salmon: The Biodemography of Longevity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5740.
×
PageR1
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. Between Zeus and the Salmon: The Biodemography of Longevity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5740.
×
PageR2
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. Between Zeus and the Salmon: The Biodemography of Longevity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5740.
×
PageR3
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. Between Zeus and the Salmon: The Biodemography of Longevity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5740.
×
PageR4
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. Between Zeus and the Salmon: The Biodemography of Longevity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5740.
×
PageR5
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. Between Zeus and the Salmon: The Biodemography of Longevity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5740.
×
PageR6
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. Between Zeus and the Salmon: The Biodemography of Longevity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5740.
×
PageR7
Page viii Cite
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. Between Zeus and the Salmon: The Biodemography of Longevity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5740.
×
PageR8
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. Between Zeus and the Salmon: The Biodemography of Longevity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5740.
×
PageR9
Suggested Citation:"Front Matter." National Research Council. 1997. Between Zeus and the Salmon: The Biodemography of Longevity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/5740.
×
PageR10
Next: 1 Between Zeus and the Salmon: Introduction »
Between Zeus and the Salmon: The Biodemography of Longevity Get This Book
×
Buy Paperback | $78.00
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

Demographers and public health specialists have been surprised by the rapid increases in life expectancy, especially at the oldest ages, that have occurred since the early 1960s. Some scientists are calling into question the idea of a fixed upper limit for the human life span. There is new evidence about the genetic bases for both humans and other species. There are also new theories and models of the role of mutations accumulating over the life span and the possible evolutionary advantages of survival after the reproductive years.

This volume deals with such diverse topics as the role of the elderly in other species and among human societies past and present, the contribution of evolutionary theory to our understanding of human longevity and intergenerational transfers, mathematical models for survival, and the potential for collecting genetic material in household surveys. It will be particularly valuable for promoting communication between the social and life sciences.

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    Switch between the Original Pages, where you can read the report as it appeared in print, and Text Pages for the web version, where you can highlight and search the text.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  9. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!