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September 15, 1956


JAMA. 1956;162(3):208. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970200056011

Because of a progressive increase in the number of persons living beyond 60 years, more and more attention has been focused on the diseases to which they are especially prone and, more important, on ways of keeping them active and relatively healthy. In recognition of this, a Committee on Aging has been established in the A. M. A. Council on Medical Service (see this issue, page 210). Literally we start aging at the moment of conception and never stop until we die, but in the more usual sense aging starts when growth ceases. Lansing1 defines aging as a process of unfavorable progressive change, usually correlated with the passage of time, becoming apparent after maturity and terminating in death. It is a gradual process, and Zimmerman2 says that it represents a loss of functional reserve. One of the chief difficulties in studying this process is that no sure way