Standard Article

Aging Models

  1. Hans-Georg Müller

Published Online: 15 JUL 2005

DOI: 10.1002/0470011815.b2a07002

Encyclopedia of Biostatistics

Encyclopedia of Biostatistics

How to Cite

Müller, H.-G. 2005. Aging Models. Encyclopedia of Biostatistics. 1.

Author Information

  1. University of California, Davis, CA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUL 2005


Models for aging have come under intensive scrutiny in recent years due to increasing interest in aging, not least due to the ever-increasing human lifespan. The methods used to model aging are largely similar to those in survival analysis, with unique features such as the use of lifetables and less prominence of incomplete data. An increasingly prominent role is played by event history analysis. Nonparametric, frailty, event history, and extreme value approaches are increasingly prominent due to the uncertainties regarding the shape of population hazard functions, which display remarkable plasticity across sexes, species, and environmental conditions. These newer approaches complement classical likelihood methods associated with the Gompertz and Gompertz–Makeham parametric models and are therefore the methods of choice in the emerging field of biodemography. Recent problems where aging models are relevant concern the influence of genetic variants and signaling pathways on mortality, the modeling of plateaus in the right tail of hazard functions, and the complex interplay between reproduction, diet, and mortality.


  • lifetable;
  • frailty;
  • hazard function;
  • biodemography;
  • event history analysis;
  • nonparametric estimation;
  • Gompertz model