Healthcare today is reactive,retrospective, bureaucratic and expensive. This is nursing, not health care. However, this is destined to change. Scientists who are serious about aging, life extension and health care are working to change the entire system, which holds 3 trillion dollars. Let's look at what aging is and how emerging technologies and initiatives will work to combat the nine evils of human health.
Why the healthcare system is not working
The health system in the world - we will not take individual countries - is broken and does not work. That's why:
- Doctors spend 210 billion dollars a year on procedures that are not based on the needs of patients, but on the fear of responsibility.
- Americans spend an average of $ 8,915 on health care — more than in any other country on earth.
- Prescription drugs cost about 50% more in the US than in other industrialized countries.
- At current rates, by 2025 almost 25% of US GDP will be spent on health care.
- 12 years and 359 million dollars, on average, is required to deliver a new medicine from the laboratory to the patient.
- Only 5 out of 5,000 of these new drugs are being tested in humans. Of these, only 1 out of 5 is approved for human use.
We live in the healthiest time in human history
With all this, when compared with other periods of human existence, there is nothing to complain about. But problems concern the whole world, not a single country, but significant progress has been made.
- Countries with the lowest life expectancy still have a higher life expectancy than the countries with the highest expectation in 1800.
- In 1841, a 5-year-old child had an expected life of 55 years. Today, a 5-year-old can expect to live 82 years - that is 27 years more.
- The lifespan of people is increasing. In 1845, a newborn could expect to live up to 40 years. But at the age of 70, it was possible to live only up to 79 years. Today, people of all ages can expect to live 81-86 years.
- 100 years ago, 1 in 3 children died before reaching the age of 5. In 2015, child mortality fell to 4.3%.
- Cancer mortality over the past 25 years has fallen by 27%.
Nine mechanisms of aging
Life expectancy, health care and aging are closely related.
With better health care, we can better treat some of the main causes of death that affect our life expectancy.
Studying how to cure diseases, we inevitably understand better what causes these diseases in the first place, and this is directly related to why we are aging.
Below you will find nine distinctive signs of aging.
Genomic instability. As we age, the environment andnormal cellular processes damage our genes. Flying at high altitude, for example, exposes us to increased radiation or free radicals. This damage is exacerbated during life and is known to accelerate aging.
Telomere depletion. Every strand of DNA in the body (known aschromosome) is closed by telomeres. These short DNA fragments, repeated thousands of times, are designed to protect most of the chromosome. Telomeres shorten as our DNA multiplies; if telomeres reach a certain critical length, the cell stops dividing, which leads to an increase in the incidence.
Epigenetic changes. Over time, environmental factors change gene expression processes, that is, how certain DNA sequences are read and a set of instructions are implemented.
Loss of proteostasis. Over time, the various proteins in our body cease to form and function as they should, leading to various diseases, from cancer to neurological disorders.
Unregulated Nutrient Perception. The level of nutrients in the body canaffect various metabolic pathways. Among the affected parts of these pathways are proteins, such as IGF-1, mTOR, sirtuins and AMPK. Changes in the levels of these proteins affect longevity.
Mitochondrial dysfunction. Mitochondria (our cellular power plants) withage lose in performance. Decreased productivity leads to excessive fatigue and other symptoms of chronic diseases associated with aging.
Cell aging. With age, the cells cease to divide and can not be removed from the body. They accumulate and lead to severe inflammation.
Stem cell depletion. With age, our stock of stem cells beginsdecrease 100 to 10,000 times in different tissues and organs. In addition, stem cells undergo genetic mutations that reduce their quality and effectiveness in renewing and restoring the body.
Altered Cellular Communication. The communication mechanisms that our cells use are disrupted as cells age, which leads to a decrease in the ability to exchange information between them.
What conclusions can be made?
Over the past 200 years, we have seen many medical technologies that contribute to a massive increase in life expectancy.
Exponential technologies like artificialintelligence, 3D printing and sensors, as well as tremendous advances in genomics, stem cell research, chemistry and many other areas, are beginning to address the fundamental problems of why we are aging.
Just think about what we could achieve with 30-50 healthy years or even more? Tell us about it in our chat. in Telegram.