Defining Aging

Competing definitions, Gompertz Law, and the 2nd law of thermodynamics

One of the simplest ways of thinking about aging is the Gompertz–Makeham law. This law states that the human death rate is the sum of an exponential age-dependent component (e.g., you’re more likely to die of cancer if you’re older than 65) and a linear age-independent component (e.g., the rate of accidents is independent of age for the most part).

This distinction is important, because for much of the early 20th century the advances in longevity were due to improvements in the Makeham side of this rather than the Gompertz side.

References


Cited as:

@article{mcateer2014defa,
    title = "Defining Aging",
    author = "McAteer, Matthew",
    journal = "matthewmcateer.me",
    year = "2014",
    url = "https://matthewmcateer.me/blog/defining-aging/"
}

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