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Research programme

Even as the average life expectancy in the Netherlands increases, the development is lagging internationally seen. At this moment, the average life expectancy in the Netherlands lies beneath the average of the countries of EU-15, as well as of the countries of EU-25.[1]

Reason is that mortality at high age is not decreasing heavely, as is happening in France and Japan. In these countries, the probability of dying at high age has decreased with 50 – 70 percent.[2]

Even when the mortality figures can not be related to the quality of the cure and care system, it is disturbing to see that the Netherlands compared to other countries is performing so badly on one of the most important indicators of public health. The sporadic survey that has been performed on this ‘standstill of the decrease of mortality’ has offered little insights in possibilities to improve the situation. Despite (inter)national demographic interest, the phenomenon has attracted only little attention in the Netherlands.

Leyden Academy will contribute to the solving of this problem by putting the issue on the political and scientific agenda. By this means innovative care must be brought to the attention. Furthermore, the Academy will identify new leads for research through a unique set of international top academics from broadly differing backgrounds, ranging from demographics and health care to insurance and politics.

Leyden Academy has launched a qualitative survey in the Netherlands, France, the United States, Sweden and Japan, in cooperation with universities and International Longevity Centers in these countries.

The main goals are to analyse the internationals differences and to identify new leads for research into, and improvement of the health and care of older people.

[1] EUROSTAT http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu
[2] The Human Mortality Database, www.mortality.org