Abstract

While existing research on regions with high prevalence of centenarians has focused on selected candidate geographical regions, we explore the existence of hotspots in the whole of Denmark.

We performed a Kulldorff spatial scan, searching for regions of birth, and of residence at age 71, where an increased percentage of the cohort born 1906-1915 became centenarians. We then compared mortality hazards for these regions to the rest of the country.

We found a birth hotspot of 222 centenarians, 1.37 times more than expected, centered on a group of rural islands. Lower mortality hazards from age 71 onwards were confined to those born within the hotspot and persisted over a period of at least 30 years. At age 71, we found two residence-based hotspots of 348 respectively 238 centenarians, 1.46 and 1.44 times the expected numbers. One hotspot, located in high-income suburbs of the Danish capital, seems driven by selective in-migration of low-mortality individuals. The other hotspot seems driven by selective migration and lower morality among those born and residing in the hotspot.

Thus, Danish centenarian hotspots do exist. The locations and interpretation depend on whether we look at place of birth or of residence late in life.