Mortality and Risk for Chronic Disease

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


Most people are interested in the positive aspect of taking risks. We accept risks to maximize successes, health, fitness, and happiness. We prefer to look at the sunshine and not the shadow, and early in our lives, that is usually the dominant theme, though that has not always been the case in human history. The concept of health risk in relation to diet and lifestyle may be unclear in the absence of a means for quantification. In a statistical sense, risk is defined as the likelihood that an individual will die or suffer a specific disease during a stated interval. Although risk cannot truly be determined for a given individual, levels of risk associated with particular behaviors or conditions can be estimated from epidemiological correlations between the factor of interest and the incidence of disease or death in a population. It is possible to estimate accurately the number of people who will die from cancer of the colon next year in the United States, but utterly impossible to say who will die. The goals of this chapter are to discuss general ideas about risk and to use STELLA® to simulate the risk for coronary artery disease (CAD). The model should quantitatively describe the relationship of the specific behaviors to predicted life span. However, we are justified in emphasizing the positive side of this—namely, risk reduction, prevention, and the advantages of survivorship. One would like to know what preventative steps to take early, and not merely what palliatives may be available when a disease has irreversibly progressed.


Coronary Artery Disease Blood Cholesterol Coronary Artery Disease Risk Risk Indicator Prescribe Exercise 
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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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