Glossary

Mortality Ratio

Clifford McDowell

The Standardised Mortality Ratio (SMR) is the ratio of our modelled death rate divided by lifetable death rate as presented in our Insights Health model. A value of 1 indicates that the individual’s modelled mortality risk is exactly in line with the England and Wales average death rate for their age and sex as at 2011. A figure above 1 indicates an increased risk and a figure below 1 a reduced risk. Mortality rates are low at young ages, and largely driven by external causes such as accident and suicide, which leads to lower differentials across the population. It has been recognised by actuaries for years that differentials reduce at older ages: “one thing we know about all older people, they’re good at not dying”.

This data provides population mortality. It can be used to provide absolute mortality rates or relative rates. Care should be taken when there is any prior selection, for example directly through medical underwriting or indirectly through income