Month of Birth Influences Survival up to Age 105+. First Results From the Age Validation Study of German Semi-Supercentenarians
Gabriele Doblhammer, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Rembrandt Scholz, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Heiner Maier, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Using data from Germany, we examine if month of birth influences survival up to age 105. Since age reporting at the highest ages is notoriously unreliable we draw on age-validated information from a huge age validation project of 1348 German semi-supercentenarians aged 105+. We use the month of birth as an exogenous indicator for seasonal changes in the environment around the time of birth. We find that the seasonal distribution of birth dates changes with age. For semi-supercentenarians the seasonality is more pronounced than at the time of their births (1880-1900). Among the December-born the relative risk of survival from birth to age 105+ is 17 per cent higher than the average, among the June-born, 23 per cent lower. The month-of-birth pattern in the survival risks of the German semi-supercentenarians resembles closely the month-of-birth pattern in remaining life expectancy at age 50 in Denmark.