Costa Rican nonagenarians: are they the longest living male humans?
Luis Rosero-Bixby, Universidad de Costa Rica
This survival analysis of registry data on about 24,000 Costa Rican nonagenarians, 1983-2004, shows that they might be the longest living humans. To ensure that there are no age-misreporting errors, only individuals legally registered in a ledger of the year of their birth are considered. The analysis to some extent is of extinct cohorts, with little room for death under-registration error. Mortality at age 90 in Costa Rica is 13% lower than an average of 13 high-income countries. This advantage increases with age by 1% per year. Males have an additional 12% advantage. Age-90 life expectancy for males is 4.4 years, a half-year higher than any other country in the world with reliable statistics. Although this life expectancy is still below that of women, the difference is only 0.3 years, the smallest recorded at these mortality levels. The Costa Rican advantage comes mostly from lower cardiovascular mortality rates.