Volume 26 - Article 9 | Pages 191–206

Discussing the Strehler-Mildvan model of mortality

By Maxim Finkelstein

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Date received:09 Jun 2011
Date published:13 Mar 2012
Word count:18000
Keywords:force of mortality, Gompertz law, proportional hazards, Strehler-Mildvan correlation, vitality


Background: Half a century ago Strehler and Mildvan (1960) have published the seminal paper that, based on some assumptions (postulates), theoretically 'justified' the Gompertz law of mortality.

Objective: We wish to discuss assumptions and limitations of the original Strehler-Mildvan model (as well as of the Strehler-Mildvan correlation) and consider some modifications and departures from this model.

Methods: We use the framework of stochastic point processes for analyzing the original Strehler-Mildvan model. We also suggest the 'lifesaving approach' for describing the departure from rectangularization to shifts in survival curves for human mortality that has been observed in the second half of the previous century.

Results: We show that the Strehler-Mildvan model can be justified only under the additional assumption that the process of shocks (demands for energy) follows the Poisson pattern. We also suggest a modification that accounts for the oldest-old mortality plateau.

Author's Affiliation

Maxim Finkelstein - University of the Free State, South Africa [Email]

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

» Survival as a Function of Life Expectancy
Volume 21 - Article 29

» The relative tail of longevity and the mean remaining lifetime
Volume 14 - Article 7

» On stochastic comparisons of population age structures and life expectancies
Volume 13 - Article 6

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