Population Health

At a Glance Projects Publications Team

Research Area

Methods and Concepts in Health and Survival Analysis

A key dimension of research in the Laboratory of Population Health is the development of methods and concepts that enable enhanced insights into different dimensions of population health. We conduct fundamental research to uncover empirical regularities that we can later formalize mathematically, and we perform applied research to improve existing methods and develop new techniques and concepts to solve specific puzzles and issues in population health analysis.

To gain reliable quantitative insights into the dynamics of population health, a powerful toolbox is needed that contains effective techniques for analyzing various datasets. We thus assess, develop, and revise sophisticated methods, models, and measures for tackling the issues raised by research in other areas of work in the Laboratory of Population Health. We also investigate how well these newly developed methods and concepts perform in different contexts in order to identify the most suitable conditions for their application. 

The ever more comprehensive toolbox that we aim to develop 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 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. We have also contributed toward the development of the g-formula toolbox, a method for evaluating and quantifying the degree of mediation in a causal process. These new methods and concepts have allowed improvements in the measurement, prediction, and evaluation of disease and mortality burdens, which is essential for pushing research in this field forward.

Research Keywords:

Aging, Mortality and Longevity, Projections and Forecasting, Statistics and Mathematics

Projects of this Research Area

Methods, Models, and Measures in Population Health Project details
Trends in the Age Patterns of Morbidity and Mortality: Monitoring and New Methodological Approaches Project details
Assessment of Methods in Population Health Project details
The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.