Longevity and In Utero Exposure to the Pandemics in the 19th Century. Webinar, 27 May 2021


May 27, 2021


16.00-17:30 CET

Many studies have explored the health and socioeconomic disadvantage of in utero exposure to influenza pandemics in the 20th century, whereas no study examined human longevity with earlier influenza outbreaks. This study explores lifespan consequences of in utero exposure to influenza pandemics in the 19th century using a large size of genealogy data collected through social media. The results show that people exposed to influenza pandemics in utero or during the early postnatal period have shorter longevity, which is robust to shared social and genetic factors among siblings. We discuss potential mechanisms of in utero effects and implications on the current and future pandemics.

Won-tak Joo

is a PhD candidate in sociology at University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests are in aging, family, and social networks. He is currently investigating (1) changes in social networks and intergenerational relationships at various life transitions in later life, and (2) individual and family consequences of epidemics using large genealogy datasets.