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Health Improvement under Mao and Its Implications for Contemporary Aging in China


Center Fellow
Grant Miller
Alan Garber

This study aimed to better understand the dramatic health improvements in Maoist China and the age-related health disparities that it may have generated. The investigators validated official Chinese health statistics to establish the magnitude of China’s mortality decline between 1950 and 1980; and identified the proximate determinants correlated with China’s mortality decline, using data on regional variation in such factors as primary healthcare infrastructure, drinking water quality, sanitation, nutrition, and childhood vaccination rates.