Rockville, Md. (June 14, 2021)—It’s undisputed that aging is part of the life cycle. Life expectancy for babies born in the U.S. is 77.8 years, according to a 2020 study from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But all aging is not created equally. The quality of life during the aging process and how it will unfold, including the cost of aging, are the big unknowns.
Will you be able to walk to the mailbox, drive yourself to do errands, get yourself out of bed on your own strength? What can be done early to reverse and/or slow aging? These are just some potential concerns that every living person will have to face.
The American Physiological Society (APS) recently polled its member-experts to learn what some of the top challenges are that scientists say people should expect to face during the aging process. The list of concerns includes, but is not limited, to the following:
- Diminishing “healthspan” (length of time an aging person is healthy)
- Aging as the cause of almost all chronic diseases
- Slowing aging to increase healthspan
- Loss of functional independence due to physical and cognitive decline
- Organ deterioration, especially of the heart
APS has compiled a list of leading physiologists studying aging. These experts are available for interviews on this topic. Below are their names, the institutions they represent and their specific area(s) of expertise within aging.
- Paul Welling, MD, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, hypertension and kidney disease
- Benjamin Miller, PhD, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, muscle loss and treatments to slow aging
- Amanda Jo LeBlanc, PhD, University of Louisville Cardiovascular Innovation Institute, heart function
- Andrea Salvador Pascual, University of California, Berkley, muscle physiology and exercise
- Charlotte A. Peterson, PhD, Center for Muscle Biology, University of Kentucky, muscles
- Dudley Lamming, PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison, aging and animal use in research
NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: To schedule an interview with any of the experts listed above on some of the expected challenges of aging, please contact the APS Communications Office or call 301.634.7314. Find more research highlights in our Newsroom.