This paper uses a new standard model of adult mortality to compare the mortality patterns of Swedes, Japanese, and U.S. whites between 1950 and 1985. It examines changes in the age patterns of mortality and the cause-of-death structures within the populations. and the relationships between those two factors. As Japan has reached a level of mortality similar to that in Sweden, the age patterns of mortality in the two populations have become more similar despite distinct differences in causes of death. The United States has a cause-of-death structure similar to that of Sweden, but the age pattern of mortality is very different. High mortality in the middle age range in the United States results in approximately a one-year loss of life expectancy at age 45 in comparison with Sweden.

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