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Andrew Noymer's comment on an important limitation of Beckett's earlier research, "No one can adequately estimate what the health status of people out-of-sample is," prompted the authors to reanalyze NHANES I Epidemiologic Followup Study data using approaches that do not make use of projections of the health status of out-of-sample respondents. Having done the reanalysis, the authors stand by their conclusion that there is no evidence that mortality or sample selection produces the observed age-patterning of health inequities within the age groups they considered. If their findings reflect a real convergence in health inequalities that cannot be accounted for by mortality or sample selection, it may be possible to identify the factor(s) producing this convergence and apply this knowledge to reducing inequalities over the life span.

Originally published in: Journal of Health and Social Behavior, v. 42, no. 3, 2001, pp. 328-331.

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