A Stochastic Model of Senescence and Demise

  • James L. Hargrove
Part of the Modeling Dynamic Systems book series (MDS)


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publishes a weekly periodical cheerfully named Morbidity and Mortality, wherein one may discover the latest causes of sickness and death in the United States. Those who dutifully read this government periodical do so, no doubt, more in the hope of avoiding the dire outcomes it describes than in learning why funeral attendance may be up or down lately. However, as the old syllogism explains, all men are mortal (a little more so than women, it seems). And as one might imagine, since the time of Gompertz, several models of risks for death have been devised. One of the best sources of such models and a great deal of other information about aging is Bernard Strehler’s classic book, Time, Cells, and Aging. The model developed in this chapter does not explicitly duplicate any of the six discussed in that volume, but captures the flavor of decline in function coupled with an element of randomness that tests the ability of the human system to withstand life-threatening stresses and injuries.


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  1. Hayflick, Leonard. How and Why We Age. New York: Ballantine Books, 1994.Google Scholar
  2. Strehler, Bernard L. Time, Cells, and Aging. New York: Academic Press, 1977.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • James L. Hargrove
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Foods and NutritionUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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