Healthy ageing, but what is health?

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Ageing occurs in spite of complex pathways of maintenance and repair. There is no "enemy within", which has the specific evolution-selected function to cause ageing and death. This understanding of ageing should transform our approach towards interventions from therapeutic "anti-ageing" to maintaining health. But what is health? Ideally, health is a state of complete physical and mental independence in activities of daily living. But in pragmatic terms, health is a state of adequate physical and mental independence in activities of daily living. In order to identify a set of measurable, evidence-based and demonstratable parameters of health, robustness and resilience at various levels, the concept of homeodynamic space can be a useful one. Age-related health problems for which there are no clear-cut causative agents, except the complex process of ageing, may be better tackled by focusing on health mechanisms and their maintenance, rather than disease management and treatment. Continuing the disease-oriented research approaches are economically, socially and psychologically unsustainable as compared with health-oriented and preventive strategies, such as hormesis. Supporting health-oriented research is the urgency of our time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673-677
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2013

    Research areas

  • ageing, anti-ageing, stress , hormesis, hormetin

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