European Journal of population / Revue européenne de démographie vol:18 issue:1 pages:59-81
Abstract. The transmission of longevity or ost-reproductive survival from parents to offspring is investigated using data on demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the inhabitants of a small Flemish village (Moerzeke) over a period of three hundred years. This research confirms
the possible existence of biological mechanisms in transmitting longevity from parent to offspring. However, this finding can only be observed for men and women belonging to specific birth cohorts (mainly those men born between 1821 and 1860 and those women born between 1791 and 1830). Furthermore, the sex-specificity of the transmission, which was present in other studies, is not found in this research. Both factors indicate that the importance of one’s biological potential for longevity
can only be realized in specific societal conditions.