This five-year research programme was commissioned in 2016 to develop new methods for assessing basis risk and evaluating longevity improvement based on Big Health and Actuarial Data.
- identification and quantification of the key factors affecting mortality/longevity such as lifestyle choices, medical conditions, and/or interventions
- modelling of temporal changes in the factors affecting morbidity and mortality
- evaluation of plausible scenarios in mortality trends due to particular medical advances or lifestyle changes in the population of insureds of relevance to the actuarial community
- tools to forecast longevity risk of a book based on realistic scenarios of uptake of various health behaviours and/or interventions, or of particular disruptions to population health.
The multidisciplinary University of East Anglia (UEA)/Aviva team was led by Prof Elena Kulinskaya and included actuaries, statisticians, health economists, computer scientists, and medical researchers. The funding supported three PhD students and a postdoctoral researcher. Below is a summary of what was achieved to date.
Life expectancy calculator
On 3 September 2020, the research programme launched mylongevity.org to help illustrate the effect of various medical and lifestyle factors on life expectancy. The Mylongevity app uses big data from anonymised electronic health records in England and Wales to calculate life expectancy, taking into account socio-demographic and health characteristics such as chronic diseases.
The new app could potentially bring practical benefits, such as helping people plan for retirement. It could also contribute to scientific understanding of how certain behaviours and lifestyles affect longevity.
The app uses calculations based on UK life expectancy figures published by the Office for National Statistics and then refined by the researchers. The ARC Programme identified and quantified the key factors affecting mortality and longevity and translated the results of their analysis into life expectancies for different risk profiles.
The R package behind MyLongevity.org is available on GitHub for companies to download (Software Rtools40 will need to be installed). It can be used as an app in bulk format, e.g. 100,000 clients, or adapted using company parameters, population or weights. The R package currently works under R version 3.4.2 (64-bit) only. The package includes programs to calculate life expectancy based on the Cox proportional hazards model and landmark analysis combined with the Gompertz baseline risk, as used in the programme’s MyLongevity app. The R package also provides co-called double-Cox modelling for stroke, TIA, HRT and type 2 Diabetes.
- Science Direct On the survival of individuals diagnosed with type 2 diabetes mellitus in the United Kingdom: A retrospective matched cohort study, April 2022
- BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology The effect of hormone replacement therapy on the survival of UK women: a retrospective cohort study 1984−2017. Nov 2021
- Family Medicine and Community Health Journal Do statins reduce mortality in older people? Findings from longitudinal study using primary care records, May 2021. Blog June 2021
- Insurance Mathematics and Economics Calculation of changes in individual and period life expectancy based on proportional hazards model of an intervention, Nov 2020
- The Actuary A Fine Scale, May 2020
- Journal of Hypertension Optimal systolic blood pressure targets in routine clinical care, Apr 2019
- The Actuary Statins: figures on the pulse, Aug 2018
- BMJ Survival prospects after acute myocardial infarction in the United Kingdom: a matched cohort study 1987-2011, Jan 2017
- Longevity Bulletin Use of big health and actuarial data for understanding longevity and morbidity risk, Dec 2016
- PLOS ONE Survival benefits of statins for primary prevention: a cohort study, Nov 2016
- ARC Webinar Series 2021 - Use of Primary Health Care Records Data in Actuarial Research, 9 March 2021
The research team discussed their findings on the longevity of people with major long-term medical conditions such as diabetes, transient ischaemic attack and stroke and assessed the effects of key treatments such as hormone replacement therapy. A demonstration was given of the mylongevity.org and a shiny app for life expectancy with diabetes.
- ARC Technical Workshop Beyond Proportional Hazards, Staple Inn Hall, Oct 2019
- ARC Sessional How Medical Advances and Health Interventions Will Shape Future Longevity, Mar 2019
- ARC Webinar Series 2018 Use of Big Health and Actuarial Data for understanding longevity and morbidity risk, Sept 2018
- ARC Sessional How medical advances and health interventions will shape future longevity, June 2018
- ARC Webinar Series 2017 Use of Big Health and Actuarial Data for understanding Longevity and Morbidity, June 2017
The research team have presented their findings at top actuarial and statistical conferences, including the Actuarial Teachers and Researchers Conference (Dublin 2021), International Conference in Actuarial Science, Data Science and Finance (2020), Insurance Data Science Conference (Zurich 2019), International Congress of Actuaries (Berlin 2018), International Biometric Society Conference (Barcelona 2018), International Society for Clinical Biostatistics Conferences (Vigo 2017, Belgium 2019), Mortality and Longevity Symposiums (2016, 2019), Life Conference (2017), Royal Statistical Society conference (2017, 2019) and Actuarial Research Conference (2016).
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