Population Health

Research Area

Methods and Concepts in Health and Survival Analysis

Keywords: Statistics and Mathematics; Projections and Forecasting; Ageing, Mortality and Longevity

In this research area, we seek to gain a better understanding of dynamics in population health by improving the instruments of demographic analysis, detecting pure mathematical relationships, and finding empirical truths. We thus conduct (1) fundamental research to uncover empirical regularities that we can then formalize mathematically, and (2) applied research to improve existing methods and develop new techniques and concepts to solve specific puzzles/issues in population health.

To gain reliable quantitative insights into the dynamics of population health, we need a powerful toolbox that contains effective techniques for analyzing various datasets. We thus assess, revise, and develop sophisticated methods, models, and measures for tackling the issues raised in the Laboratory of Population Health. We also investigate how well they perform in different contexts in order to identify the most suitable conditions for their application. This comprehensive toolbox includes a reconceptualization of the measurement of age, new methods for the analysis of population-level disability dynamics, advanced demographic decomposition techniques, and innovations in the visualization of demographic data and in the statistical analysis of causal relationships in demographic research.

Specific examples of applications in the Laboratory for Population Health are improvements in the measurement, prediction, and evaluation of disease and mortality burdens. Among these applications are new methods for mortality forecasting and improved techniques for decomposing the effects of multiple factors simultaneously. They also include a rethinking of traditional concepts of formal demography to gain new insights from different angles, such as switching from a chronological age to a time-to-death perspective.

Projects of this Research Area: