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Book and Media Reviews
September 3, 2008

Aging and the Heart—A Post-Genomic View

JAMA. 2008;300(9):1083. doi:10.1001/jama.300.9.1083

The heart is a tough organ: a marvelous mechanism that, mostly without repairs, will give valiant pumping service up to a hundred years.—Willis John Potts, MD, American surgeon, 1895-1968

The quest for the fountain of youth has continued from time immemorial. Although one cannot live as a perpetual young person, in recent years there has been tremendous interest in prolonging duration or longevity, with the necessary caveat of preserving the quality of life. Antiaging (looking younger) and longevity (living longer) are 2 common contemporary themes in popular culture. Now that the Human Genome Project (a global 15-year initiative culminating in 2003) is completed and there has been an ongoing research initiative in molecular cardiology, the quest for understanding the scientific mechanism of general aging—particularly cardiac aging—has commenced.