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Longevity : The Biology and Demography of Life Span - James R. Carey


The Biology and Demography of Life Span

Paperback Published: 2nd March 2003
ISBN: 9780691088495
Number Of Pages: 304

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Despite our deep interest in mortality, little is known about why some individuals live to middle age and others to extreme old age. Life span, mortality, and aging present some of the most profound mysteries in biology. In "Longevity," James Carey draws on unprecedented data to develop a biological and demographic framework for identifying the key factors that govern aging, life span, and mortality in humans and other animals.

Carey presents the results of a monumental, twelve-year, National Institute on Aging-funded research project on the determinants of longevity using data from the life tables of five million Mediterranean fruit flies, the most comprehensive set of life table studies ever on the mortality dynamics of a single species. He interprets the fruit fly data within the context of human aging and the aging process in general to identify the determinants of mortality. Three key themes emerge: the absence of species-specific life span limits, the context-specific nature of the mortality rate, and biodemographic linkages between longevity and reproduction.

A powerful foundation for the emerging field of biodemography and a rich framework for considering the future of human life span, "Longevity" will be an indispensable resource for readers from a range of fields including population biology, demography, gerontology, ecology, evolutionary biology, and medical research.

Industry Reviews

"I strongly recommend the book to researchers, students, and other readers interested in longevity and aging... Both the experimental findings and the theoretical discussions in this book are new and important contributions to our understanding of life span."--Shiro Horiuchi, Population and Development Review "This book definitively announces a scientific revolution in our understanding of life history, aging, demography, and kindred subjects... Longevity is one of those rare scientific books that has something both important and new to say."--Michael R. Rose, Bioscience "Not only a fascinating tour of a major research initiative, but also an informative record of how science actually works. I read it with growing interest as the questions and problems unfolded with each new chapter."--John Speakman, Biologist

List of Figures
List of Tables
Preface and Acknowledgements
Introductionp. 1
The Problemp. 1
The Epistemological Frameworkp. 2
Importance of Scalep. 3
Overarching Themesp. 7
Organization of the Bookp. 8
Operational Frameworkp. 10
Backgroundp. 10
Empirical Methodsp. 11
Analytical Methodsp. 13
Mortality Decelerationp. 27
Backgroundp. 27
Slowing of Mortality at Older Agesp. 28
Implications of Morality Decelerationp. 33
Demographic Selectionp. 34
Sex Differentialsp. 37
Reproduction and Behaviorp. 53
Reproduction and Longevity: Visualizing Linkagesp. 53
Relationship of Reproduction and Mortalityp. 59
Cost of Virginityp. 70
Supine Behavior - a Predictor of Time-to-deathp. 77
Mortality Dynamics of Densityp. 86
Backgroundp. 86
Operational Frameworkp. 88
Mortality Dynamicsp. 91
Implicationsp. 107
Dietary Effectsp. 111
Early Mortality Surge in Protein-deprived Femalesp. 111
Female Sensitivity Underlies Sex Mortality Differentialp. 118
Mortality Oscillations Induced by Periodic Starvationp. 127
Linkages between Reproduction and Longevityp. 143
Dual Modes of Agingp. 143
Reproductive Clockp. 150
Food Pulsesp. 157
General Biodemographic Principlesp. 176
Why Biological Data Is Important for Deriving General Principlesp. 176
Principles of Senescencep. 177
Principles of Mortalityp. 178
Principles of Longevityp. 183
Biodemographic Principles and the Human Primatep. 187
Biodemography of Human Development, Reproduction, and Geneticsp. 190
Proximate Determinants of Human Longevityp. 196
Longevity Gains Are Self-reinforcingp. 198
A General Theory of Longevityp. 200
Comparative Demography of Longevityp. 201
Foundational Principlesp. 206
Model of Longevity Extensionp. 208
Model Applicationp. 212
Implications of Longevity-oriented Theoryp. 216
Human Life Span Extension: A Framework for the Futurep. 218
Epilogue: A Conceptual Overview of Life Spanp. 221
Backgroundp. 221
Abstract Perspectivesp. 222
Death and Extinctionp. 223
Boundary and Perpetuityp. 224
Evolutionp. 224
Roles of the Elderlyp. 231
Minimal Life Spansp. 231
Absence of Life Span Limitsp. 232
Humansp. 233
Theory of Longevity Extension Social Species: A Self-reinforcing Processp. 237
Futurep. 238
Scientific and Biomedical Determinantsp. 239
Demographic Ontogenyp. 241
Postscriptp. 243
Bibliographyp. 245
Indexp. 271
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691088495
ISBN-10: 0691088497
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 304
Published: 2nd March 2003
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 1.91
Weight (kg): 0.43