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Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research
Volume 2010, Article ID 120354, 9 pages
Research Article

Centenarians Today: New Insights on Selection from the 5-COOP Study

1National Institute on Health and Medical Research, INSERM, 75654 Paris, France
2Department of Social Work and Social Administration, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
3Nihon University Advanced Research Institute for the Sciences and Humanities, Tokyo 102-8251, Japan
4Danish Aging Research Center, Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, 5000 Odense, Denmark
5Aging Research Center, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm University, 113 30 Stockholm, Sweden
6Department of Rehabilitation and Geriatrics, Geneva University Hospitals and University of Geneva, 1226 Thônex Geneva, Switzerland

Received 20 July 2010; Accepted 31 December 2010

Academic Editor: Bradley Willcox

Copyright © 2010 Jean-Marie Robine et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The number of oldest old grew tremendously over the past few decades. However, recent studies have disclosed that the pace of increase strongly varies among countries. The present study aims to specify the level of mortality selection among the nonagenarians and centenarians living currently in five low mortality countries, Denmark, France, Japan, Switzerland, and Sweden, part of the 5-Country Oldest Old Project (5-COOP). All data come from the Human Mortality Database, except for the number of centenarians living in Japan. We disclosed three levels of mortality selection, a milder level in Japan, a stronger level in Denmark and Sweden and an intermediary level in France and Switzerland. These divergences offer an opportunity to study the existence of a trade-off between the level of mortality selection and the functional health status of the oldest old survivors which will be seized by the 5-COOP project.