Discover how advances in healthcare, research, and societal attitudes are redefining our aging— a 30,000 feet view.
Aging, we think, it’s an inevitable part of life. Yet, as scientific research and societal attitudes evolve, so does our perception of what it means to grow older. The phrase “60 is the new 40” encapsulates a new, more optimistic view on aging. But what is the science behind this? Let’s dive into five areas that support this shift.
- The Rise in Life Expectancy
One of the most significant indicators of our evolving relationship with aging is the steady rise in life expectancy. According to data from the World Health Organization, the global average life expectancy has more than doubled in the last century. Today’s life expectancy exceeds 90’s in developed countries mostly. This leap is largely due to factors like improved healthcare, better sanitation, advances in nutrition, and widespread education. These changes have extended the duration of life and its quality — Health Span.
This progress was mainly due to the work of several scoentots whose research has saved millions of lives every year since the mid-1900s. The picture above with 10 scientists and their discoveries is shown.
2. Combatting Age-Related Diseases
The last century has seen a revolution in our ability to prevent, diagnose, and treat many diseases that were once common in older age. Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and many types of cancer have seen improvements in treatment and prevention strategies, leading to lower mortality rates and extended life span.
Technological advances in fields like genomics and bioinformatics are furthering our understanding of these diseases’ Senescence-AssociatedSecretory phenotypes (SASP) at a molecular level. As a result, more targeted and personalized therapies are being developed, contributing to improved health outcomes and a longer health span — the period of a life lived free from disease.
3. The Promise of Anti-Aging Research
The field of anti-aging research is growing with innovative scientific advancements. Researchers have discovered various biological mechanisms underlying aging, such as telomere shortening and cellular senescence, and are developing potential interventions to slow these processes down.
Caloric restriction, certain pharmaceuticals like Metformin, and interventions like senolytic drugs that target senescent cells, show potential in extending healthspan. While these strategies are still under investigation, they hold promise for a future where we can slow the aging process and extend the years we live healthily. They will eventually hope to prevent, track, repair, and improve our health span, thereby increasing longevity, as depicted by Alex Zhavoronkov, Ph.D.
AI-Driven Drug Discovery for Age-Related Diseases
InSilico Medicine company and several other companies are driving new drug discovery to company aging and its negative impact.
Working with Various Biological Clocks to Manage Aging.
They can measure various biological clocks, for example — Blood, Transcription, Anamnesis, Methylation, Microbiome, and Heart, that help us to understand aging speed and provide opportunities to manage them.
4. Emphasizing Healthy Aging
Around the world, there’s been a growing emphasis on promoting healthy aging. Governments, healthcare providers, and non-profit organizations are putting resources into preventive measures to help people stay healthier as they age. These include promoting a balanced diet, regular exercise, good mental health, and social engagement.
The World Health Organization’s “Decade of Healthy Ageing” initiative exemplifies this shift, aiming to foster longer and healthier lives through comprehensive public health action.
5. The Changing Social Perception of Aging
Aging is not just a biological process; it’s also a cultural and societal one. Today, people are working and staying active longer, and the cultural perception of aging is changing from a phase of decline to a period of growth and engagement.
Age-friendly cities, workplaces that value experience and wisdom, and a growing acceptance of lifelong learning all contribute to this change. Instead of viewing aging as a period of loss, it’s increasingly seen as a stage of life ripe with opportunities for growth, learning, and contribution.
Top longevity researcher and podcast host David Sinclair is 53 — according to his date of birth, but results from a biological age test claim Sinclair’s only 42. Yes, reversing your biological age is possible. And it’s never too late to start Sinclair’s go-to longevity habits to see similar results. He achieved this with the current knowledge—the social perception of his reversal even more.
Therefore, with the advances in the near future combined with the current knowledge, we are not a long way off from being able to declare that “60 is the new 40” universally!