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A Mixture Model Incorporating Individual Heterogeneity in Human Lifetimes

By Fei Huang, Ross Maller, Brandon Milholland, Xu Ning

Posted 01 Feb 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.01.29.428902

Analysis of some extensive individual-record data using a demographically informed model suggests constructing a general population model in which the lifetime of a person, beyond a certain threshold age, follows an extreme value distribution with a finite upper bound, and with that upper bound randomized over the population. The resulting population model incorporates heterogeneity in life-lengths, with lifetimes being finite individually, but with extremely long lifespans having negligible probability. Our findings are compared in detail with those of related studies in the literature, and used to reconcile contradictions between previous studies of extreme longevity. While being consistent with currently reported analyses of human lifetimes, we nevertheless differ with those who conclude in favour of unbounded human lifetimes.

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