Life span and career outcome in several cohorts of US navy and US army officers - directions of causality

Ulrich Mueller, University of Marburg
Tobias Biegel, University of Marburg
Kerstin Walter, University of Marburg

We have vital data of most men of the classes 1895-1904 and of 1925 of the US Military Academy at West Point and the US Naval Aacdemy at Annapolis. We select those who had served at least 20 years after graduation and retired not disabled. We looked for associations between career outcome as measured by final rank and survival beyond age 55. Applying various event history models, with age at retirement and region of birth controled, we found a strong association: the higher the rank, the longer the life. The assocation is strongest at ages 60-75, and disappears later. We conclude that career succes per se does not influence survival, but that a subgroup with compromised health had diminished promotion chances in late career and diminished survival chances thereafter alike. By its excess mortality this subgroup disappears after age 75, and so does the association between career outcome and survival.

Presented in Poster Session 1

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