Intrinsic and extrinsic mortality reunited

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Jacob J E Koopman, Maarten J Wensink, Maarten P Rozing, David van Bodegom, Rudi G J Westendorp

Intrinsic and extrinsic mortality are often separated in order to understand and measure aging. Intrinsic mortality is assumed to be a result of aging and to increase over age, whereas extrinsic mortality is assumed to be a result of environmental hazards and be constant over age. However, allegedly intrinsic and extrinsic mortality have an exponentially increasing age pattern in common. Theories of aging assert that a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic stressors underlies the increasing risk of death. Epidemiological and biological data support that the control of intrinsic as well as extrinsic stressors can alleviate the aging process. We argue that aging and death can be better explained by the interaction of intrinsic and extrinsic stressors than by classifying mortality itself as being either intrinsic or extrinsic. Recognition of the tight interaction between intrinsic and extrinsic stressors in the causation of aging leads to the recognition that aging is not inevitable, but malleable through the environment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalExperimental Gerontology
Volume67
Pages (from-to)48-53
Number of pages6
ISSN0531-5565
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015

ID: 140392799