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Wang Ren-an Department of Health Statistics, Faculty of Public Health, Beijing Medical College  
Several methods have been introduced for constructing abridged life tables.The Reed-Merrell method is one of the most frequently used for calculating an abridged life table. But the conversion of _xm_x to _nq_x by use of the Reed-Merrell method is found inconvenient. In the calculation of the next life table function, _nL_x, the Reed-Merrell method is found to be too complicated and time-wasting. We have worked out a simplified scheme in accordance with Reed-Merrell method, the result of which has been found very close to that of Reed-Merrell's.In this article, we have discussed some problems related to the method of the conversion of _nm_x to _nq_x at both ends of the life table.It is suggested that in the future, on the basis of census data, the method of reference to a standard table to construct an abridged life table on the basis of the relationship between _nm_x and _nq_x in a complete life table would be more rational.
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