Ageing populations: The challenges ahead

Danish Ageing Research Centre, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark.
The Lancet (Impact Factor: 45.22). 10/2009; 374(9696):1196-208. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(09)61460-4
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT If the pace of increase in life expectancy in developed countries over the past two centuries continues through the 21st century, most babies born since 2000 in France, Germany, Italy, the UK, the USA, Canada, Japan, and other countries with long life expectancies will celebrate their 100th birthdays. Although trends differ between countries, populations of nearly all such countries are ageing as a result of low fertility, low immigration, and long lives. A key question is: are increases in life expectancy accompanied by a concurrent postponement of functional limitations and disability? The answer is still open, but research suggests that ageing processes are modifiable and that people are living longer without severe disability. This finding, together with technological and medical development and redistribution of work, will be important for our chances to meet the challenges of ageing populations.

  • Source
    • "In fact, people over the age of 85 years are the fastest growing population group in the USA and people above 65 years will soon constitute more than 20% of the population. Furthermore, a life expectancy of more than 100 years has been estimated for half of all girls born today in many western countries (Christensen et al., 2009). Already now, many women spend around 30– 40% of their lives in menopause and face sequelae such as demineralization of bones (i.e. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Life expectancy has increased by more than 30 years during the last century and continues to increase. Many women already live decades in menopause deprived of naturally produced oestradiol and progesterone, leading to an increasing incidence of menopause-related disorders such as osteoporosis, cardiovascular diseases and lack of general well-being. Exogenous oestradiol has traditionally been used to alleviate menopause-related effects. This commentary discusses a radical new method to postpone menopause. Part of the enormous surplus of ovarian follicles can now be cryostored in youth for use after menopause. Excision of ovarian tissue will advance menopause marginally and will not reduce natural fertility. Grafted tissue restores ovarian function with circulating concentrations of sex steroids for years in post-menopausal cancer survivors. Future developments may further utilize the enormous store of ovarian follicles. Currently, the main goal of ovarian cryopreservation is fertility preservation, but grafting of ovarian tissue may also serve endocrine functions as a physiological solution to prevent the massive medical legacy of osteoporosis and menopause-related conditions in the ageing population. This intriguing solution is now technically available; the question is whether this method qualifies for postponing menopause, perhaps initially for those patients who already have cryostored tissue? Copyright © 2015 Reproductive Healthcare Ltd. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Reproductive biomedicine online 05/2015; 31(2). DOI:10.1016/j.rbmo.2015.05.002 · 2.98 Impact Factor
  • Source
    • "Three major hypotheses have been proposed: the " expansion of morbidity " (Gruenberg 1977), the " compression of morbidity " (Fries 1989) and the " dynamic equilibrium " (Manton 1982) hypothesis. Evidence for each of them has been found, depending on the particular dimension of health considered (Christensen et al. 2009). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Life expectancy (LE) has increased constantly over the last decades in developed countries. Do longer lives mean more years spent in ill health? We add to the knowledge about the relationship between population health and longevity by using a natural experiment. Namely, we compare healthy life expectancies for Catholic order members and their peers in the general population. Catholic order members, especially monks, generally live longer than their peers in the general population. We are therefore able to analyze whether a difference in average LE between two populations exposed to the same historical conditions (e.g., major world events, economic conditions, medical standards) is related to differences in the proportion of life years spent in good health. Across both genders, we find evidence that higher LE is associated with fewer years in poor perceived health and functional limitations (i.e., compression of morbidity) , but more years with a chronic illness (i.e., expansion of morbidity).
    Population Association of America, San Diego; 05/2015
  • Source
    • "Human aging and age-associated diseases are emerging as among the greatest challenges and financial burdens faced by developed and developing countries (Christensen et al., 2009) ( wpp/documentation/pdf/WPP2010_Volume-I_Comprehensive-Tables.pdf). Although average life expectancy has increased dramatically in the last 100 years, this has not been accompanied by an equivalent increase in healthy life expectancy, which has been termed healthspan (Hung et al., 2011). "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The workshop entitled 'Interventions to Slow Aging in Humans: Are We Ready?' was held in Erice, Italy, on October 8-13, 2013, to bring together leading experts in the biology and genetics of aging and obtain a consensus related to the discovery and development of safe interventions to slow aging and increase healthy lifespan in humans. There was consensus that there is sufficient evidence that aging interventions will delay and prevent disease onset for many chronic conditions of adult and old age. Essential pathways have been identified, and behavioral, dietary, and pharmacologic approaches have emerged. Although many gene targets and drugs were discussed and there was not complete consensus about all interventions, the participants selected a subset of the most promising strategies that could be tested in humans for their effects on healthspan. These were: (i) dietary interventions mimicking chronic dietary restriction (periodic fasting mimicking diets, protein restriction, etc.); (ii) drugs that inhibit the growth hormone/IGF-I axis; (iii) drugs that inhibit the mTOR-S6K pathway; or (iv) drugs that activate AMPK or specific sirtuins. These choices were based in part on consistent evidence for the pro-longevity effects and ability of these interventions to prevent or delay multiple age-related diseases and improve healthspan in simple model organisms and rodents and their potential to be safe and effective in extending human healthspan. The authors of this manuscript were speakers and discussants invited to the workshop. The following summary highlights the major points addressed and the conclusions of the meeting. © 2015 The Authors. Aging Cell published by the Anatomical Society and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
    Aging Cell 04/2015; 14(4). DOI:10.1111/acel.12338 · 5.71 Impact Factor
Show more


Available from