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If mortality rate is viewed as the outcome of processes of behavior, growth and reproduction, then it should be possible to predict mortality rate as a result of those processes. We provide two examples of how this may be done. In the first, we use the method of linear chains to treat mortality that is the result of multiple physiological processes, some of which may have delays. In the second, we assume that mortality is the result of damage associated with growth and metabolism. Both approaches lead to a rich diversity of predicted mortality trajectories. Although many of these look Gompertzian at young ages, the behavior at older ages depends upon the details of the physiological models.

Original publication




Journal article


Theor Popul Biol

Publication Date





353 - 359


Humans, Models, Statistical, Mortality, Physiological Phenomena, United States