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Patterns of Elderly Life Expectancy in Three Chinese Cities: Hong Kong, Shanghai and Taipei

  • Edward Jow-Ching Tu

Life expectancy at aged 65 is remarkably similar in the three Chinese cities of Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Taipei, even though the cities differ in levels of socioeconomic development, health systems, and other factors. Edward Jow-Ching Tu will discuss research that aims to understand this phenomenon. Despite unprecedented increases in life expectancy and attainment of similar current levels of life expectancy, the cities differ in the contributions of changes in major causes of death to the improvements in life expectancy among the elderly. Tu and colleagues have explored several possible determinants of these different patterns and trends in the three cities, including socioeconomic development, health service delivery systems, cause-of-death classification systems, and competing risks from cardiovascular disease and other diseases. Their analysis suggests that the effect of equity of health service delivery has become more important over time.

Edward Jow-Ching Tu is a senior lecturer of demography in the Division of Social Science at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. His work is focused on the impact of fertility, mortality, and migration on socio-economic changes in East Asia countries with special emphasis on nations experiencing a transition from planned economy to market economy; on causes and impacts of mortality changes and health transition on aging societies; and on the causes of lowest-low fertility in many East Asia countries. He has several active research projects ongoing in China, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. He holds graduate degress from West Virginia University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Tennessee (Knoxville). Tu has worked extensively in Asia, and has served as an adjunct professor and taught in many universities in China, including Peking University, Peoples University, Nankai Univerity, and Fudan University. He had served as a senior research scientist at the New York State Health Department and as a research fellow (full professor) at the Institute for Social Sciences and Philosophy at Academia Sinica. Tu has also taught at the State University of New York in Albany.