Since I turned 80, I have developed a curiosity as to how much longer I might live. To get a tentative idea about this, I have been plotting graphs, one for men and one for women, that show the number of deaths at different ages that are reported in the Statesman. The patterns that have emerged have surprised me.
The peak age for the death of men during March was a 15-year period between 75 and 90, with about the same number during each five-year period. The peak age for the death of women was a period of 10 years between 85 and 95, with more deaths between 90 and 95 than during any other period. There were four women who made it past 100. There were no deaths of men older than 98, and only one at that age.
The most surprising thing, however, was the discovery of a lower peak period of deaths for both men and women between age 60 and 65. This, of course, is the period when many of us retire. So why are we also dying in unusual numbers at that stage? Anyone have an answer?
Don Adair, Boise
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