Modelling the Age Dynamics of Chronic Health Conditions: Life-Table-Consistent Transition Probabilities and their Application
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Surveys of chronic health conditions provide information about prevalence but not incidence and the process of change within the population. Our study shows how "age dynamics" of chronic conditions – the probabilities of contracting conditions at different ages, of moving from one chronic condition state to another, and of dying – can be inferred from prevalence data for those conditions that can be viewed as irreversible. Transition probability matrices are constructed for successive age groups, with the sequence representing the age dynamics of the health conditions for a stationary population. We simulate the life path of a cohort under the initial probabilities, and again under altered probabilities, to explore the effects of reducing the incidence or mortality rate associated with a particular condition. We show that such surveys of chronic conditions can be made even more valuable by allowing the calculation of the transition probabilities that define the chronic conditions aging process.
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