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August 13, 2008



The paper also seems to suggest -- since the effect is concentrated in poor households with bad access to social and health services -- that the effect may be history by now. In any case, the data they use is for twins born 1873-1906. The first year of life in 2008 is quite different than in 1906.


One might have guessed that the years 1940-45, and a few thereafter, might have shown strong effects. Did they look at that?


Oops, Stefan's simultaneous comment makes my inquiry redundant.


The WW2 years may actually have been good for longevity (assuming you survived!). There is good evidence of a "golden cohort" born in the years around 1930 (so young teenagers mostly during the war) are showing the strongest acceleration in longevity than any generation before. One theory is that wartime rationing has had a positive long-term effect. Another is that this is the first generation to give up smoking in any numbers in time for it to have an impact. And there are also of course medical advances. My point is, there are so many potential factors that pulling out any one is likely to provide a false answer.

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