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Scientific Discovery and the Future of Medicine
October 2, 2018

Aging, Cell Senescence, and Chronic DiseaseEmerging Therapeutic Strategies

Author Affiliations
  • 1Robert and Arlene Kogod Center on Aging, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
JAMA. 2018;320(13):1319-1320. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.12440

Age is the leading predictive factor for most of the chronic diseases that account for the majority of morbidity, hospitalizations, health costs, and mortality worldwide. These diseases include Alzheimer disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular disease, and most cancers. Chronological age is also the main risk factor for the geriatric syndromes, including frailty and immobility as well as decreased physical resilience, which is manifested by delayed or incomplete recovery from stressors, such as surgery, hip fracture, and pneumonia. The prevalence of these problems not only increases with age, but these conditions tend to cluster within older individuals, leading to multimorbidity. Therefore, if any single major age-related disease were cured, it would only be supplanted by others, adding little to quality or length of life and limiting the effectiveness of treating age-related chronic diseases one at a time.

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