60 is the new middle age
April 16, 2015
Increases in life expectancy do not necessarily produce faster overall population aging, according to new open-access research published in the journal PLOS ONE.
This counterintuitive finding was the result of applying new measures of aging, developed at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) to future population projections for Europe up to the year 2050.
IIASA World Population Program Deputy Director Sergei Scherbov led the study in collaboration with IIASA andState University of New York, Stony Brook researcherWarren Sanderson.
“Age can be measured as the time already lived or it can be adjusted,” said Scherbov, “taking into account the time left to live.
If you don’t consider people old just because they reached age 65, but instead take into account how long they have left to live, then the faster the increase in life expectancy, the less aging is actually going on.”
Traditional measures of age simply categorize people as “old” at a specific age, often 65. But previous research by Scherbov, Sanderson, and colleagues has shown that the traditional definition puts many people in the category of “old” who have characteristics of much younger people.
“What we think of as old has changed over time, and it will need to continue changing in the future as people live longer, healthier lives,” says Scherbov./.../