We are in the midst of a tremendous increase in life expectancy, which gives rise to new medical, economic, and social challenges. To reduce burden and enhance the benefits associated with an aging population, research must elucidate factors that decrease age-related disability and increase quality of life in later years. For this reason, the concept of optimal, or successful, aging should become a cornerstone of aging research. By identifying and characterizing this phenotype, we may determine factors associated with successful aging, which may then be implemented in programs to ensure optimal quality of life in later years.
Fiocco AJ, Yaffe K. Defining Successful AgingThe Importance of Including Cognitive Function Over Time. Arch Neurol. 2010;67(7):876-880. doi:10.1001/archneurol.2010.130