The Profiles of Aging

  • Suchit Arora
Part of the International Perspectives on Aging book series (Int. Perspect. Aging, volume 12)


Starting early in the adult life cycles, cohorts brought up since the early nineteenth century have traced unique profiles of non-communicable diseases, suggesting that the aging potentials across them had changed over the long term. This cross-generation or cross-cohort change seems to have been the main thrust of modern aging. However, the profiles tend to converge at advanced ages, suggesting that the progress at older ages is less than the progress at younger ones. Quantified in terms of the parameters α and β, and in terms of the mortality rate doubling times, the history of such profiles also has a prolonged episode in the nineteenth century, when about three to four successive generations fared worse than the ones before. In light of the evidence on cross-cohort aging, the chapter offers a synthesis of the opposing views in the debate on aging and its prospects. It also connects with the long-running debate on the trends in living standards during industrialization, outlining how the profiles do not always agree with the time at which the conventional measures indicate an improving or worsening standard.


Cross-cohort aging Senescence Mortality rate doubling time Gompertz Period-life expectancy Compression of deaths Standard of living Capabilities Average stature 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suchit Arora
    • 1
  1. 1.State Teachers Retirement System of OhioColumbusUSA

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