Dynamical network model for age-related health deficits and mortality

  • Taneja S
  • Mitnitski A
  • Rockwood K
 et al. 
  • 26


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 11


    Citations of this article.


How long people live depends on their health, and how it changes with age. Individual health can be tracked by the accumulation of age-related health deficits. The fraction of age-related deficits is a simple quantitative measure of human aging. This quantitative frailty index (F) is as good as chronological age in predicting mortality. In this paper, we use a dynamical network model of deficits to explore the effects of interactions between deficits, deficit damage and repair processes, and the connection between the F and mortality. With our model, we qualitatively reproduce Gompertz's law of increasing human mortality with age, the broadening of the F distribution with age, the characteristic nonlinear increase of the F with age, and the increased mortality of high-frailty individuals. No explicit time-dependence in damage or repair rates is needed in our model. Instead, implicit time-dependence arises through deficit interactions-so that the average deficit damage rates increase, and deficit repair rates decrease, with age. We use a simple mortality criterion, where mortality occurs when the most connected node is damaged.

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free