Calculating the Rate of Senescence From Mortality Data: An Analysis of Data From the ERA-EDTA Registry

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2016 Apr;71(4):468-74. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glv042. Epub 2015 Apr 16.


The rate of senescence can be inferred from the acceleration by which mortality rates increase over age. Such a senescence rate is generally estimated from parameters of a mathematical model fitted to these mortality rates. However, such models have limitations and underlying assumptions. Notably, they do not fit mortality rates at young and old ages. Therefore, we developed a method to calculate senescence rates from the acceleration of mortality directly without modeling the mortality rates. We applied the different methods to age group-specific mortality data from the European Renal Association-European Dialysis and Transplant Association Registry, including patients with end-stage renal disease on dialysis, who are known to suffer from increased senescence rates (n = 302,455), and patients with a functioning kidney transplant (n = 74,490). From age 20 to 70, senescence rates were comparable when calculated with or without a model. However, when using non-modeled mortality rates, senescence rates were yielded at young and old ages that remained concealed when using modeled mortality rates. At young ages senescence rates were negative, while senescence rates declined at old ages. In conclusion, the rate of senescence can be calculated directly from non-modeled mortality rates, overcoming the disadvantages of an indirect estimation based on modeled mortality rates.

Keywords: Acceleration of mortality; Aging; Gompertz model.; Modeling; Senescence; Senescence rate.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging*
  • Europe
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / mortality*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Kidney Transplantation / mortality
  • Kidney Transplantation / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Mortality*
  • Registries
  • Renal Dialysis / mortality
  • Renal Dialysis / statistics & numerical data