Early Life Conditions and Adult Mortality in the St. Lawrence Valley, Canada 1720-1800

Kent Johansson, Lund University
Jan Beise, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Bertrand Desjardins, Université de Montréal

A number of studies in medicine and related disciplines show that malnutrition and infection in early life affect later life health. Several studies based on historical data on individuals have shown that conditions in early life affect mortality. This study investigates if early life conditions affected adult mortality in the population of the St. Lawrence Valley, Canada in 1720-1800. Additional to the basic interest of studying early life condition effects on mortality in general, this population is interesting since it is an immigrant population, living in a different environment compared to the European populations, who have been mainly investigated up to now. The effect of early life conditions on mortality at age 60-80 is analyzed, with multi-level survival regressions accounting for family frailty, using local infant mortality rates as proxy for conditions in early life. Preliminary results confirm the expected influences of early life conditions on adult mortality.

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Presented in Session 135: Early Life Experiences and Mortality