The number of oldest old grew tremendously over the past few decades. However, recent studies have disclosed that the pace of increase strongly varies among countries. The present study aims to specify the level of mortality selection among the nonagenarians and centenarians living currently in five low mortality countries, Denmark, France, Japan, Switzerland, and Sweden, part of the 5-Country Oldest Old Project (5-COOP). All data come from the Human Mortality Database, except for the number of centenarians living in Japan. We disclosed three levels of mortality selection, a milder level in Japan, a stronger level in Denmark and Sweden and an intermediary level in France and Switzerland. These divergences offer an opportunity to study the existence of a trade-off between the level of mortality selection and the functional health status of the oldest old survivors which will be seized by the 5-COOP project.
2010. Vol. 2010, 120354