What difference does the dependence between durations make? Insights for population studies of aging

Yashin, A. I., Iachine, I. A.
Lifetime Data Analysis, 5:1, 5–22 (1999)


The interpretation of age-specific changes in hazards, relative risks, genetic parameters and other indicators of aging calculated from data on related individuals should take into account the regularities of bivariate selection. Due to such selection the hazard rate calculated for twins who have survived to a certain age may be lower than for singletons, even if marginal chances of survival for all individuals are the same. In a mixed population of relatives the proportion of pairs with closer family links increases with age, even if all marginal individual chances of survival are the same. The proportion of chronic conditions for MZ twins observed in a cross-sectional study may be different from that of DZ twins. The age-dependence of relative risks calculated in genetic-epidemiological studies of twins does not necessarily reflect changes in genetic influence on individual susceptibility to disease and death during the aging process. The age-related changes in heritability of susceptibility estimated in twin studies may have nothing to do with changes in the genetic determination of diseases with age. These issues are illustrated by empirical graphs together with the results of modeling and statistical analysis. (KLUWER ACADEMIC PUBLISHERS)
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