Rostock, Germany

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research is located in Rostock, Germany. It was founded in 1996 and moved into new buildings in Rostock in 2002. It is one of approximately 80 institutes of the Max Planck Society.The MPIDR is jointly led by founding director James Vaupel and Joshua S. Goldstein, who joined the institute in 2007 following the retirement of Jan Hoem and took over Executive Directorship in May 2009.After the Institut national d'études démographiques, the MPIDR is the largest demographic research body in Europe and one of the largest in the world. Conducting basic research into demographic processes, it analyzes the underlying causes of demographic change, describes contemporary demographic trends, produces forecasts for the future direction of demographic processes, highlights the potential consequences facing society, and assists decision-makers in the various political and social institutions by providing them with solid information and expert advice.Currently, the MPIDR houses eight research laboratories: Evolutionary Biodemography, Survival and Longevity, Economic and Social Demography, Contemporary European Fertility and Family Dynamics, Demographic Data, Statistical Demography, Population and Policy, and Historical Demography.The institute is participating in four international doctoral training programs: The International Max Planck Research School for Demography, the European Doctoral School of Demography , the MaxNet Aging Research School , and the PhD program Demography at Rostock University.Within the framework of the Rostock Center, a joint initiative between the MPIDR and Rostock University, the institute provides decision-makers in politics and society with information and expert advice on the causes and consequences of demographic change.Since 2009, the MPIDR hosts Population Europe - the collaborative network of Europe’s leading demographic research institutes and centres - whose main activity is to the disseminate policy relevant demographic research findings. Wikipedia.

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Vaupel J.W.,Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research | Vaupel J.W.,University of Southern Denmark | Vaupel J.W.,Duke University
Nature | Year: 2010

Human senescence has been delayed by a decade. This finding, documented in 1994 and bolstered since, is a fundamental discovery about the biology of human ageing, and one with profound implications for individuals, society and the economy. Remarkably, the rate of deterioration with age seems to be constant across individuals and over time: it seems that death is being delayed because people are reaching old age in better health. Research by demographers, epidemiologists and other biomedical researchers suggests that further progress is likely to be made in advancing the frontier of survival and healthy survival to even greater ages. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Rizzi S.,Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
American Journal of Epidemiology | Year: 2015

Ungrouping binned data can be desirable for many reasons: Bins can be too coarse to allow for accurate analysis; comparisons can be hindered when different grouping approaches are used in different histograms; and the last interval is often wide and open-ended and, thus, covers a lot of information in the tail area. Age group-specific disease incidence rates and abridged life tables are examples of binned data. We propose a versatile method for ungrouping histograms that assumes that only the underlying distribution is smooth. Because of this modest assumption, the approach is suitable for most applications. The method is based on the composite link model, with a penalty added to ensure the smoothness of the target distribution. Estimates are obtained by maximizing a penalized likelihood. This maximization is performed efficiently by a version of the iteratively reweighted least-squares algorithm. Optimal values of the smoothing parameter are chosen by minimizing Akaike's Information Criterion. We demonstrate the performance of this method in a simulation study and provide several examples that illustrate the approach. Wide, open-ended intervals can be handled properly. The method can be extended to the estimation of rates when both the event counts and the exposures to risk are grouped. © 2015 The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Myrskyla M.,Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
American Journal of Epidemiology | Year: 2013

Parental ages are increasing in the developed world, and postponed parenthood may have a negative association with the cognitive ability of offspring. There is, however, inconclusive evidence regarding the impact of both maternal and paternal ages. We have been able to reduce or eliminate unobserved confounding by using methods that account for fixed parental characteristics shared by brothers. Associations between parental age and intelligence quotient (IQ) among 565,433 Swedish males (birth cohorts 1951 to 1976) were analyzed, with IQ measured at conscription examinations (given between ages 17 and 20 years). When we accounted for the IQ time trend by adjusting for birth year, advanced paternal age showed no association with offspring IQ; however, maternal ages above 30 years were inversely associated with offspring IQ. For example, maternal ages 40-44 years were associated with an offspring IQ that was 0.07 standard deviations lower than that for maternal ages 25-29 years (P < 0.001). However, the IQ trend more than offset the impact of age, as without birth year adjustment, advanced maternal age was positively associated with IQ. Although the results confirmed that maternal age was negatively associated with offspring IQ, the association was small enough that delaying parenthood resulted in higher offspring IQ scores because of the positive IQ test score trend. © 2013 The Author.

Myrskyla M.,Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research | Scholz R.,Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
International Journal of Epidemiology | Year: 2013

Background The German East-West mortality difference narrowed rapidly after the 1990 unification, particularly for women. We analyse recent trends for women aged 50-89 years and document for the first time lower mortality in the East.Westudy how smoking contributes to this cross-over. Methods We analyse mortality by cause for women aged 50-89 over the years 1992-2009 for the East and West Germany, excluding Berlin. We compare the East-West mortality rate ratio (MRR) for total mortality and after removing smoking-attributable mortality using the indirect Preston-Glei-Wilmoth method. Results In the early 1990s mortality was higher in the East. By 2000 mortality for ages 50-64 had declined below that of the West and remained lower thereafter. For example, from 1992-94 to 2005-09 the MRR for ages55-59 declined from 1.27 to 0.87. Smoking explains a third of the MRR change for ages 50-64, and whensmoking-attributable deaths are removed the mortality cross-over vanishes. For example, non-smoking-attributable MRR for ages 55-59 is 1.03 in 2005-09. For ages 65-89 smoking matters less, and mortalityremains higher in the East. Conclusions We show for the first time that mortality for middle-aged women is lower in the former East Germany than in the West. Prior studies have documented convergence and suggested improving living standards and medical care as mechanisms. We show that much of the convergence, and the cross-over, are attributable to smoking. The seeds for the female East-West mortalitycross-over were planted before the unification, when the women now aged 50-64 adopted their smoking behaviours. © The Author 2013; all rights reserved.

Organisms of different species age differently. Current theory explains why life should get worse, i.e. why patterns of increasing risk of death should evolve. However, for some species the risk of death remains constant or even falls with advancing age. Evolutionary theory to explain the observed diversity of shapes of ageing is lacking. Theoretical models can provide insights into this diversity. Comparing assumptions of models that find increasing mortality patterns with models that find a variety of patterns, including constant and falling mortality over age, I identify conditions that licence constant or negative shapes of ageing. The results suggest that patterns of improvement and maintenance over age emerge when models potentially allow organisms to (1) escape the 'damage ratchet', (2) achieve maintenance and repair in parallel, (3) face increasing future reproductive potential and (4) incorporate flexible trade-offs. With these insights, theoretical models contribute to hypotheses about which species may follow life history strategies of negligible or negative ageing. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Vogt T.C.,Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Gerontology | Year: 2013

Background: In the two decades since reunification, East Germans have experienced a large increase in life expectancy and a convergence with the West German mortality level. This gain in life expectancy appears even more impressive if we assume a different scenario in which the Berlin Wall did not fall, and the old East Germany still existed. Objective: This analysis takes into account that East German mortality would not have remained static without reunification. Thus, it shows how many years of life expectancy were actually added by the fall of the Berlin Wall. Method: The analysis shows the improvements for single age groups by projecting life expectancy based on mortality levels during the 1970s and 1980s using the Lee-Carter method. I use national-level data for both sexes for East Germany before reunification. Results: I find that, without reunification, current life expectancy at birth among East Germans would be 4.0 years lower for females and 5.7 years lower for males. I also show that older East Germans were the main demographic beneficiaries of reunification. Female and male mortality improvements in the age groups above 60 contributed up to 80% to the actual gains in life expectancy. Conclusions: Had the Berlin Wall not fallen, East German mortality would not have remained static but improved at a far slower rate. Thus, this counterfactual approach shows for the first time how many years of life were actually gained by reunification and how much of these gains were attributable to mortality improvements among the elderly. Copyright © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Levitis D.A.,Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2011

The age-specific mortality curve for many species, including humans, is U-shaped: mortality declines with age in the developing cohort (ontogenescence) before increasing with age (senescence). The field of evolutionary demography has long focused on understanding the evolution of senescence while largely failing to address the evolution of ontogenescence. The current review is the first to gather the few available hypotheses addressing the evolution of ontogenescence, examine the basis and assumptions of each and ask what the phylogenetic extent of ontogenescence may be. Ontogenescence is among the most widespread of life-history traits, occurring in every population for which I have found sufficiently detailed data, in major groups throughout the eukaryotes, across many causes of death and many life-history types. Hypotheses seeking to explain ontogenescence include those based on kin selection, the acquisition of robustness, heterogeneous frailties and life-history optimization. I propose a further hypothesis, arguing that mortality drops with age because most transitions that could trigger the risks caused by genetic and developmental malfunctions are concentrated in early life. Of these hypotheses, only those that frame ontogenescence as an evolutionary by-product rather than an adaptation can explain the tremendous diversity of organisms and environments in which it occurs. © 2010 The Royal Society.

Goldstein J.R.,Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

This paper shows new evidence of a steady long-term decline in age of male sexual maturity since at least the mid-eighteenth century. A method for measuring the timing of male maturity is developed based on the age at which male young adult mortality accelerates. The method is applied to mortality data from Sweden, Denmark, Norway, the United Kingdom, and Italy. The secular trend toward earlier male sexual maturity parallels the trend toward earlier menarche for females, suggesting that common environmental cues influence the speed of both males' and females' sexual maturation. © 2011 Joshua R. Goldstein et al.

Camarda C.G.,Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Journal of Statistical Software | Year: 2012

The MortalitySmooth package provides a framework for smoothing count data in both one-and two-dimensional settings. Although general in its purposes, the package is specifically tailored to demographers, actuaries, epidemiologists, and geneticists who may be interested in using a practical tool for smoothing mortality data over ages and/or years. The total number of deaths over a specified age-and year-interval is assumed to be Poisson-distributed, and P-splines and generalized linear array models are employed as a suitable regression methodology. Extra-Poisson variation can also be accommodated. Structured in an S3 object orientation system, MortalitySmooth has two main functions which fit the data and define two classes of objects: Mort1Dsmooth and Mort2Dsmooth. The methods for these classes (print, summary, plot, predict, and residuals) are also included. These features make it easy for users to extract and manipulate the outputs. In addition, a collection of mortality data is provided. This paper provides an overview of the design, aims, and principles of MortalityS-mooth, as well as strategies for applying it and extending its use.

Schaible R.,Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research | Sussman M.,Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
BioEssays | Year: 2013

In this paper we contrast the simple role of FOXO in the seemingly non-aging Hydra with its more diversified function in multicellular eukaryotes that manifest aging and limited life spans. From this comparison we develop the concept that, whilst once devoted to life-prolonging cell-renewal (in Hydra), evolutionary accumulation of coupled functionality in FOXO has since 'distracted' it from this role. Seen in this light, aging may not be the direct cost of competing functions, such as reproduction or growth, but the result of a shift in emphasis in a protein, which is accompanied by advantages such as greater organismal complexity and adaptability, but also disadvantages such as reduced regeneration capacity. Studying the role of FOXO in non-aging organisms might, therefore, illuminate the path to extend life span in aging organisms. © 2013 WILEY Periodicals, Inc.

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