Forecasting the number of future disabled elderly using Markovian and mathematical models

Chad Boult, Robert L Kane, Thomas A. Louis, Joseph G. Ibrahim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The accuracy of forecasting the number of future disabled elderly people depends on the accuracy of projecting mortality rates and the rates of transition to and from functional disability. We describe a new two-step method for constructing mathematical models that project these future rates dynamically. (1) A Markovian model of elders' transitions between functional states is specified. (2) A mathematical model of the probability of each transition is created. We conducted pilot studies of the fundamental mathematical processes of this method using data from the Longitudinal Study of Aging. First we constructed prototypic mathematical models of the probabilities of remaining functionally able and of making transitions to disability and to death within 2 years. Then we used these models to project hypothetical rates of transition for white women of selected ages, morbidity ratings and health statuses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)973-980
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1991


  • Activities of daily living
  • Aged
  • Forcasting
  • Longitudinal studies
  • Models-theoretical
  • Regression analysis


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