NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

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

Samuel H. Preston, Andrew Stokes, Neil K. Mehta, Bochen Cao

NBER Working Paper No. 18407
Issued in September 2012
NBER Program(s):   HC

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.

download in pdf format
   (797 K)

email paper

A non-technical summary of this paper is available in the March 2013 NBER digest.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Digest by email.

The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health provides summaries of publications like this.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

This paper is available as PDF (797 K) or via email.

Acknowledgments

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18407

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Kolstad and Kowalski w17933 Mandate-Based Health Reform and the Labor Market: Evidence from the Massachusetts Reform
Baum and Chou w17423 The Socio-Economic Causes of Obesity
Goldin and Katz w18410 The Most Egalitarian of All Professions: Pharmacy and the Evolution of a Family-Friendly Occupation
Solon, Haider, and Wooldridge w18859 What Are We Weighting For?
Christopoulou and Lillard w19036 Is Smoking Behavior Culturally Determined? Evidence from British Immigrants
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us