Do the effects of major risk factors for mortality rise or fall with age?

Publication Abstract

Download PDF versionMehta, Neil, and Hui Zheng. 2018. "Do the effects of major risk factors for mortality rise or fall with age?" PSC Research Report No. 18-888. 2 2018.

Researchers are often interested in how a risk factor's effect on mortality changes with age because the pattern has direct relevancies to life-course theories, public health practice, and demographic modeling. Here we highlight the importance of mathematical scale to interpreting risk factor by age interactions, describing how the choice of scale has critical implications for theory development and arguing that many life-course studies have not recognized the importance of scale to conclusions drawn from their findings. We also provide an empirical analysis of risk factor by age interactions drawing from a set of major risk factors for mortality often studied in demography and epidemiology. We show that these risk factors conform to a general pattern-the strength of their association with mortality tends to increase with age. This prevailing pattern of increasing risks by age across multiple major risk factors for mortality has not been identified previously. We go on to argue that the pattern has critical underpinnings for life-course theory, public health allocation, and clinical practice.

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Barbara Anderson weighs in citizenship question on 2020 census

Stern quoted in Smithsonian Magazine article on eugenics movement

Hicken et al. find neighborhood social context affects black kidney patients

More News

Highlights

Morenoff elected Secretary of APC Association of Population Centers for 2019

Special issue to commemorate 50 years of PSID

More Highlights


Connect with PSC follow PSC on Twitter Like PSC on Facebook