Medical Conditions

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
  • Cancer

Other negative factors for life expectancy include:

  • Lifestyle: Smoking, alcoholism, drug abuse
  • Education: High school education or less
  • Obesity/Overweight

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.

  • Stroke: Shavelle RM, Brooks JC, Strauss DJ, Turner-Stokes L (2019). Life Expectancy after Stroke Based On Age, Sex, and Rankin Grade of Disability: A Synthesis.J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis, 2019 Oct 29:104450. doi: 10.1016/j.jstrokecerebrovasdis.2019.104450.

  • 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.