What does the world need to know about longevity?

If you had to describe in a single sentence what the world needs to know about longevity, what would it be?

That we’re at the cusp of being able to live longer and healthier than we ever could have imagined!

Bold innovations and medical breakthroughs, leading to healthier, productive, longer lives are just around the corner!

Addressing the aging process directly could help to prevent countless cases of expensive, terrible chronic conditions like cancer, heart disease, and dementia.

The world needs to understand that aging = disease:

Just one of many examples is that age is the single greatest risk factor for developing cancer. In fact, 60% of people who have cancer are 65 or older. At age 30, we have a one in a thousand chance of getting cancer in the next year, but by the age of 80, our chance of getting cancer in the next year is one in ten. A hundred times higher.

You’ve probably heard people say ‘he/she died of old age’. What does this really mean? Generally we have not thought much about this definition, but in reality every person who died of “old age” died of a medical condition. Every “old age” death has a clinical explanation.

For as long as humans have struggled to understand the nature of our existence, we have not asked many questions about aging. We have pretty much accepted it as the natural path we must all endure.
At the same time, we’ve been fighting disease for thousands of years, and even though disease is also completely natural, we don’t just surrender to it. We intervene; we modify whatever is necessary to get rid of it, and this makes sense to most of us. It is not controversial. But when it comes to aging, for some reason it is!

Gerontology and Geriatrics are the medical fields concerned with ill health in the aged, but so far, they have failed to cure any of these diseases; only ameliorating the symptoms, and sometimes only slowing down the otherwise inevitable progress of ailments.

Even though it is completely obvious that as we age we lose our health, in all the years of diligently struggling to advance research and cures, science has not focused on it in the right way. As much as we fight to find cures for disease in general, when they are associated with aging, we see them differently. We have cured and even eradicated many infectious diseases, but not one single age-related disease. It is definitely time for a paradigm shift.

On top of the indescribable suffering that aging brings, the increasing burden of disease that results from aging is becoming unsustainable to our healthcare system. The disability of millions of people who live longer but in very bad health, represent a major global challenge. Those who are not healthy can’t contribute to the economy of the world and become an escalating heavy load to the system.

I’ve been working on this mission for over 15 years now and really hope that one day we can stop the greatest torture and destruction of our species – allowing humans to be born with the gift of lives as long, healthy, and fulfilling as we choose to make them.

What separates us from dramatically extended, strong and even performance-enhanced healthspan is ignorance and lack of collective will to conquer that ignorance. Aggressive, focused, well-funded biological aging research, coupled with corresponding translation into therapies for prevention, delay and reversal of organismal aging-associated morbidity and mortality (AAMM) is obviously what is needed. It is not “if;” it is “when,” but depending upon appropriate resource allocation timing, it could be a couple decades or it could be a century, during which incalculable suffering from chronic AAMM will continue for millions and billions of people just like you and me.

An important consideration along the way is who owns the forthcoming vital technology, and who will have reasonable access to it. With that in mind, it is clear that a publicly-sponsored “Apollo Project” against AAMM is appropriate and essential. This has been expressed by the California Healthy Aging Initiative (CHAI) created by a group of us, but has not yet been adequately funded to reach the ballot box and be accepted by the California voters.

This a great point. One of the discussions we’ve had has been around classifying aging as a disease and the funding this could unlock to extend the human lifespan.

Longevity is about autophagy and knowing what body, mind and spirit need to thrive for the 200-600 years human bodies are designed to live.

@NickOttens, and I personally (and us at SENS) don’t like to say that aging IS a disease, but definitely that aging brings disease; that aging is the cause of disease. That’s why I say people need to understand that aging “equals” disease.

@MariaEntraigues A very important distinction! Thanks for the clarification.

Longevity is primarily a result of your lifetime eating and exercise habits. Eat healthy, exercise, practice preventative medicine, live longer…very simple.

That has been true for all of time, with specifics being continually refined. Everyday habits and common-sense medical care are certainly at the forefront of defence against disease and early age-related degeneration. Thing is, a new wave of non-traditional therapies that prevent, delay and reverse age-associated morbidities (and mortality) are on the near horizon. From senolytics to epigenetic manipulation, we can expect revolutionary advances in longevity, and in the health enjoyed during traditional old age. The implications are profound, and it behooves all of us to get tuned in and support this amazing humanitarian leap forward.

That overpopulation will be solved by other planet habitats

Addressing aging is the best way to keep people healthy for the longest time possible: you treat the root cause of all aging-related diseases, enabling you to contain the approaching silver tsunami that will eventually bankrupt healthcare systems and even entire countries.

It needs emphasizing that longevity per se is not always desirable; extending healthspan is (oddly often misunderstood)

“An Urge to Live Long by Retarding the Ageing Process” is one Word Sentence for Longivity

Thanks for your suggestion, @Youdufkhan79! We hope to have an exciting longevity-related announcement soon. Keep an eye on the community and our newsletter (to which you are automatically subscribed as a member) for updates.

Many people think that life expectancy is largely determined by genetics. However, genes play a much smaller role than originally believed. It turns out that environmental factors like diet and lifestyle are key.