What are the health challenges associated with increased longevity? How can we ensure better aging, even when living with chronic diseases ? How do science and innovation provide new therapies ? How is fundamental research opening new perspectives ?
After focusing on the issues of resilient cities and artificial intelligence, the AXA Research Fund is publishing its third “AXA Research Guide”: “Silver Age : Aging Better”. This book aims to help us to improve our understanding of this crucial issue, and to shed light on the insights provided by AXA supported scientists and AXA experts.
By 2050, according to the UN, the number of people aged 80 years or over will triple and nearly a quarter or more of the population will be over 60 (in all regions of the world except Africa). This “silver tsunami” is first and foremost the result of progress: in hygiene, health, technology; or in a word, science.
However, there is a drawback associated with this increase in longevity: a risk of disrupting individual lives – that of senior citizens, their families, their caregivers... – and which translates at the collective level by its economic, social and financial impact on health systems. Because longevity is not synonymous with an increase of years spent in good health.
An increase in lifespan... and duration of disease
Longer life expectancy is accompanied by an increased risk of critical diseases that persist for the long term. A number of serious diseases that used to be often fatal, have become chronic (cancers, stroke, but also Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s), due to advances in medicine and prevention; leading to the “chronicity” of critical diseases.
For example, it is no longer rare to survive for many years after cancer or a heart attack – but this often goes hand-in-hand with lifelong after-effects. In addition, aging increases the risk of suffering from several pathologies simultaneously – a situation called “multimorbidity”.
These trends related to the prolongation of life therefore put pressure on healthcare pathways, care provision, the adaptation of facilities, support, family help, the economic balance of health systems... One question becomes crucial: how can we live longer, while staying healthy?
The contribution of Science to meeting this individual and collective challenge
After focusing on the issues of resilient cities and artificial intelligence, the AXA Research Fund is publishing its third “AXA Research Guide”: “Silver Age : Aging Better”. This book aims to help us to improve our understanding of this crucial issue, and to shed light on the insights provided by AXA supported scientists and AXA experts. It is an opportunity for researchers to showcase work that is supported by the Fund, in fields as varied as medicine, economics, demography, epidemiology, biology, physics, engineering, neuroscience, genomics..., and to present their contributions on :
All these lines of research have a single common goal: to reduce the risks related to the aging population, and to transform them into opportunities for individuals and society.