The Effects of Sociodemographic Factors on the Hazard of Dying Among Chinese Oldest Old

  • Dudley L. PostonJr
  • Hosik Min
Part of the Demographic Methods and Population Analysis book series (PSDE, volume 20)


The oldest old population of China has grown in size and continues to increase. The growth is due to the combination of very low levels of fertility and longer life expectancy in China. However, there is not enough sociological and demographic literature about oldest old mortality in China. In this chapter we undertake Cox proportional hazard analyses and examine the effects of sociodemograhic factors on the hazard of dying among oldest old Chinese. Data on 7,234 oldest old Chinese who were interviewed in the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey (CLHLS) were used in the analyses. The results indicate that sociodemographic variables such as age, sex, and marital status are strong predictors of the hazard of dying among the oldest old Chinese after controlling for other health-related variables. In terms of the relative impact among the covariates, the age variable is the most influential factor.


Chinese oldest-old mortality Cox proportional hazard model Hazard of dying Hazard ratio Influential factor Kaplan–Meier Curve Multicollinearity Population aging Semi-standardized hazard ratio Sociodemographic factors Strong predictors 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aiken, L.R. (2001), Dying, death, and bereavement. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum AssociatesGoogle Scholar
  2. Allison, P.D. (1984), Event history analysis: Regression for longitudinal event data. Beverly Hills, CA: SageGoogle Scholar
  3. Campbell, C. and J.Z. Lee (1996), A death in the family: Household structure and mortality in rural Liaoning: Life-event and time-series analysis, 1792–1867. History of the Family 1, pp. 297–328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cleves, M.A., W.W. Gould, and R.G. Gutierrez (2002), An introduction to survival analysis using Stata. College Station, TX: Stata Press Publication, Stata CooperationGoogle Scholar
  5. Fang, R. (1993), The geographical inequalities of mortality in China. Social Science and Medicine 36, pp. 1319–1323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hamilton, L.C. (1992), Regression with graphics: A second course in applied statistics, Belmont, CA: Duxbury Press, Wadsworth, Inc. ISBN: 0534159001Google Scholar
  7. Hamilton, L.C. (1998), Statistics with Stata 5. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/ColeGoogle Scholar
  8. Hao, H. (1995), A study on the sex difference in mortality in China. Chinese Journal of Population Science 7, pp. 285–298Google Scholar
  9. Hummer, R.A., R.G. Rogers, S.H Amir, D. Forbes, and W.P. Frisbie (2000), Adult mortality differentials among Hispanic subgroups and non-Hispanic whites. Social Science Quarterly 81, pp. 459–476Google Scholar
  10. Kaplan, E.L. and P. Meier (1958), Nonparametric estimation from incomplete observations. Journal of the American Statistical Association 53, pp. 457–481CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Liang, J., J.M. Bennett, H. Sugisawa, E. Kobayashi, and T. Fukuya (2003), Gender differences in old age morality: Roles of health behavior and baseline health status. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology 56, pp. 572–582CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Liu, G. and Z. Zhang (2004), Sociodemographic differentials of the self-rated health of the oldest old Chinese. Population Research and Policy Review 23, pp. 117–133CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Long, J.S. (1997), Regression models for categorical and limited dependent variables. Thousand Oaks, CA: SageGoogle Scholar
  14. Nam, C.B. (1995), Another look at mortality crossovers. Social Biology 42, pp.133–142Google Scholar
  15. Poston, D.L. Jr. (2000), Social and economic development and the fertility transitions in mainland China and Taiwan. Population and Development Review26 (supplement), pp. 40–60Google Scholar
  16. Poston, D.L. Jr. and C.C. Duan (2000), The current and projected distribution of the elderly and eldercare in the People’s Republic of China. Journal of Family Issues 21, pp. 714–732CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Poston, D.L. Jr., H. Luo, and H.K.M. Terrell (2004), The elderly populations and levels of aged dependency in China and the United States: Past, present and future. Paper presented at the Conference on Chinese Healthy Aging and Socioeconomics: International Perspectives, Duke University, August 20–21Google Scholar
  18. Quadagno, J. (1999), Aging and life course. New York: McGraw-HillGoogle Scholar
  19. Rabe-Hesketh, S. and B. Everitt (2004), A handbook of statistical analyses using Stata. 3rd ed. Boca Raton, FL: Chapman and Hall/CRCGoogle Scholar
  20. Rogers, R.G., R.A. Hummer, and C.B. Nam (2000), Living and dying in the USA: Behavioral, health, and social differentials of adult mortality. San Diego: Academic PressGoogle Scholar
  21. Rowland, D.T. (2003), Demographic methods and concepts. New York: Oxford University PressGoogle Scholar
  22. Trovato, F. and G. Lauri (1989), Marital status and mortality in Canada: 1951–1981. Journal of Marriage and Family 51, pp. 907–922CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Xie, W. (1996), Mortality differential for various levels of education in China. Chinese Journal of Population Science 8, pp. 41–49Google Scholar
  24. Xiong, Y. (1989), An analysis of the mortality of the ethnic minorities in China. Chinese Journal of Population Science1, pp. 43–50Google Scholar
  25. Yamaguchi, K. (1991), Event history analysis. Newbury Park, CA: SageGoogle Scholar
  26. Yang, S. (1986), Changes in elderly population and the elderly mortality of the Haimen County. Population Research (Beijing)3 (2), pp. 35–38Google Scholar
  27. Yusuf, F and M. Byrnes (1994), Ethnic mosaic of modern China: An analysis of fertility and mortality data for the twelve largest ethnic minorities. Asia-Pacific Population Journal 9 (2), pp. 25–46Google Scholar
  28. Zeng, Y. (1989), Aging of the Chinese population and policy issues: Lessons from a rural–urban dynamic projection model. In: 1989 International Population Conference, New Delhi. Liege, Belgium: International Union for the Scientific Study of Population 3, pp. 81–101Google Scholar
  29. Zeng, Y. and L.K. George (2000), Family dynamics of 63 million (in 1990) to more than 330 million (in 2050) elders in China. Demographic Research 2, Article 5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Zeng, Y. and J.W. Vaupel (2002), Functional capacity and self-evaluation of health and life of oldest old in China. Journal of Social Issues 58, pp.733–748CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Zeng, Y., J.W. Vaupel, Z. Xiao, C. Zhang, and Y. Liu (2001), The healthy longevity survey and the active life expectancy of the oldest old in China. Population: An English Selection 13, pp. 95–116Google Scholar
  32. Zeng, Y., J.W. Vaupel, Z. Xiao, C. Zhang, and Y. Liu (2002), Sociodemographic and health profiles of the oldest old in China. Population and Development Review 28, pp.251–273CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Zeng, Y., Y. Liu, and L.K. George (2003), Gender differences of the oldest old in China. Research on Aging 25, pp. 63–80Google Scholar
  34. Zick, C. and K.R. Smith (1991), Marital transitions, poverty, and gender differences in mortality. Journal of Marriage and Family 53, pp. 327–336CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dudley L. PostonJr
    • 1
  • Hosik Min
  1. 1.Department of SociologyTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

Personalised recommendations