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For prediction of elder survival by a Gompertz model, number dead is preferable to number alive

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Abstract

The standard Gompertz equation for human survival fits very poorly the survival data of the very old (age 85 and above), who appear to survive better than predicted. An alternative Gompertz model based on the number of individuals who have died, rather than the number that are alive, at each age, tracks the data more accurately. The alternative model is based on the same differential equation as in the usual Gompertz model. The standard model describes the accelerated exponential decay of the number alive, whereas the alternative, heretofore unutilized model describes the decelerated exponential growth of the number dead. The alternative model is complementary to the standard and, together, the two Gompertz formulations allow accurate prediction of survival of the older as well as the younger mature members of the population.

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Author information

Correspondence to Dexter M. Easton.

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Easton, D.M., Hirsch, H.R. For prediction of elder survival by a Gompertz model, number dead is preferable to number alive. AGE 30, 311 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11357-008-9073-0

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Keywords

  • Centenarians
  • Death rate
  • Gerontology
  • Gompertz survival
  • Mortality rate
  • Supercentenarians