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November 17, 1999

Progressing From Disease Prevention to Health Promotion

Author Affiliations

Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Interim CoeditorIndividualAuthorMargaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephenLurieMD PhD, Fishbein FellowIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1999;282(19):1812-1813. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-282-19-jbk1117

To the Editor: As a geriatrician, I read Dr Breslow's1 commentary with great interest. Disease prevention and health promotion are the keys for so-called successful aging. The concept of successful aging is relatively new but the subject is well studied. Thanks to it, a significant minority of aged persons are enjoying a healthy and gratifying life.2 It is a compelling task for the medical community to seek the means to increase the numbers of people who reach old age with successful aging. A healthier lifestyle adopted even late in life can increase active life expectancy and decrease age-related disability.3 However, these measures will be more effective if they are started in younger life, preferably during childhood, since early atherosclerosis is present in virtually all Americans starting at age 15 years.4

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