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.

  • Liver Transplantation: Shavelle RM, Saur RC, Kwak JH, Brooks JC, Hameed B (2021). Life expectancy after liver transplantation for alcoholic cirrhosis. Progress in Transplantation, in press.

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.

The studies referenced above are available on the articles page.