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"Grandi vecchi" in Sardegna tra Ottocento e Duemila. La longevità attraverso i Censimenti della popolazione

Gatti, Anna Maria - Salaris, Luisa (2004) "Grandi vecchi" in Sardegna tra Ottocento e Duemila. La longevità attraverso i Censimenti della popolazione. Quaderni del Dipartimento di Ricerche Economiche e Sociali - Sezione statistica .


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Bio-demographical studies on longevity in Sardinia have resulted in some important findings, such as confirmation of high prevalence and low female/male ratio in validated centenarians (Poulain et al., 2004). Several issues however remain still open. For example, what are the biological mechanisms determining extraordinary life spans in some individuals, and moreover what is the connection between longevity and extrabiological factors such as environment, lifestyle, nutrition. In this paper, using census data, we try to trace the historical relevance of longevity in the Sardinian population in the last two centuries. From two censuses (1844 and 1848), it emerges that in Sardinia, also in the first half of XIX century - despite the high mortality rates - there are several recorded cases of longevity in individuals and population groups. Even if the percentage of people who lived to advanced age is small, the presence of nonagenarians was significant and was in proportion higher when compared to that of centenarians recorded in the past few decades. Starting from these findings, we have tried to compare the geographical distribution of long- lived individuals in the XIX and in XX century. The longevity maps show a certain continuity in a time period of 150 years in the areas characterized by the presence of "very old" individuals in the Island. The areas located include mountainous and hilly internal areas, which have been described already in previous studies as particularly "closed" areas in terms of marital patterns (eso/endogamy). Moreover, it seems that the presence of "very old" individuals in the XIX century was more widespread throughout the territory than today. An interesting hypothesis is that a genetic factor favourable to longevity was present in greater measure in the Sardinian population in the past, and that at the present time this genetic component is only found in the more isolated and endogamous areas. Finally, our research, notes the lower sex ratio value (F/M) among Sardinian long lived people, particularly in some areas of the province of Nuoro and Oristano.

Item Type:Article
Publisher:Dipartimento di Ricerche Economiche e Sociali - Università  di Cagliari
Institution:Universita' degli Studi di Cagliari
Divisions:Dipartimenti (fino a dicembre 2011) > Dipartimento di Ricerche economiche e sociali
Subjects:Area 13 - Scienze economiche e statistiche > SECS-S/05 Statistica sociale
Uncontrolled Keywords:Longevity, Centenarians, Sardinia.
ID Code:438
Deposited On:02 Dec 2009 22:57

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