What does health span focus on?

Live longer This is where it's important to understand the difference between life expectancy and health. Life expectancy is the total number of years we live, while health expectancy is how many of those years we remain healthy and free of disease. While life expectancy denotes the time someone or something lives, life expectancy has a more nuanced definition. Recent research on life expectancy explores how to maintain this good health and quality of life while extending life expectancy.

Environmental and modifiable factors can be used to delay age-related processes and promote lifelong good health. Healthspan's expansion strategies are comprehensive and are based on the union of social, clinical and scientific programs. Social initiatives include promoting public health and focusing on social determinants. Increased decision-making, which takes advantage of multimodal data sets, has improved clinical management in older people.

Advances in the regenerative and anti-senescent arsenal point to healing solutions. Actions focused on HealthSpan will require an increasingly concerted and multidimensional effort that uses public health initiatives, acts on the social determinants of health, and takes advantage of emerging technologies to add value in an equitable way to the lives of older people. While younger people could benefit more in the long term if they focused more on therapies that moderate the duration of health, older adults may be the first to see the benefits. In parallel, professional health organizations have emphasized the importance of living free of disease, as evidenced by the American Heart Association's 2030 impact goal, established to extend health-adjusted life expectancy by three years20.

It should be noted that anti-aging science is increasingly aimed at developing prophylactic and curative interventions that promote a transition from traditional symptom mitigation in advanced and disabling diseases to early and proactive health treatment. Alternatively, physical activity combined with healthy dietary patterns rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and oils can delay the aging process. Therefore, discovering how to preserve biological, physical and mental health, or hope for health, as one ages has become an integral part of the conversation about longevity and life expectancy. According to the World Health Organization, poor mental health can also be as harmful to health as smoking or lack of exercise.

Two tried and tested measures to prolong the duration of health are to follow a Mediterranean diet, consume lots of products, whole grains, healthy fats and maintain moderate and regular exercise, such as bike rides or long walks. While there is no specific diet for the period of health at this time, research supports the adoption of a more plant-based diet, which contributes to reducing levels of biomarkers associated with aging. Many researchers are now placing more emphasis on increasing health expectancy in an effort to maximize quality of life in later years. Globally, in diverse populations, access to next-generation cures must be guaranteed to equitably reduce the gap between life expectancy and health.

Life expectancy is the period of life lived in good health, generally without illness, while life expectancy is the total number of years lived. To approximate health expectancy, the World Health Organization (WHO) uses a term called HALE, or healthy life expectancy, to determine the average age of onset of serious illness. .

Christine Febles
Christine Febles

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