Introductions: Challenges and Opportunities. A Malthusian Revolution; C. Jasmin. A Global Approach; M. Iaccarino. Longevity and Women's Health; N. Sadik. Opening Remarks; B. Kouchner. Worldwide Revolution in Longevity and Quality of Life; A. Pompidou. Global Aspects of Longevity. The Revolution in Longevity; R.N. Butler. Longevity Around The World; V.V. Bezrukov. Longevity as an Artifact of Civilization; J.W. Vaupel. Can We Afford Longevity? R.W. Fogel. The Biology of Aging and Longevity; C.B. Harley. Quality of Life and Disorders of Longevity; F. Forette. Understanding the Biological Determinants of Longevity: New Opportunities and Challenges; T. Kirkwood. Specific Social Responses to Age-Related Dysfunction; A. Svanborg. In Year 2000: Aging, the Forgotten Revolution: Will DHEA Help Us? E.-E. Baulieu. Pharmaceutical, Biotechnological and Nutritional Interventions In the Disorders of Longevity; H.B. Stahelin. Nutritional Intervention to Help Prevent and Cure Longevity Disorders; P.R. Guesry. Gerontechnological Interventions and the Health and Quality of Life Of Older People; M. Powell Lawton. Importance of Health in the Elderly: A Challenge to the Biomedical Research & Development and to Society; D.W. Scholer. Quality and Quantity of Life. Ethics and Entrances; C.R. Boddington Joyce. Dignity, Well-being and Quality of Life; J.M. Mann. Health, Longevity and Quality of Life; F. Regnier. Longevity, Aging and the Demand of Primary Care; C. van Weel. Health Inequalities Persist Into Old Age: Results from the Longitudinal Study; E. Breeze. Gentle Closure; K. Foley. Social and Cultural Challenges of Longevity. Introduction; G.J. Piller. The Age Revolution: Benefits and Concerns; J.E. Birren. Are We Moving Toward a War Between the Generations? C. Attias-Donfut. A Remarkable Lack of Intergenerational Conflict: How Should Government Spending be Divided Between Young and Old; H. Taylor. Some African Vignettes; K. Thairu. Coping With Old Age in Africa; N. Apt. Women in the Longevity Revolution; B. Friedan. Political Responsibilities in the Longevity Revolution. How Seven European Countries Have Anticipated the Consequence of Population Aging in the Healthcare Sector: A Survey of Ernst & Young; P. Anhoury. Responsibilities of the Individual and Society: Political Responsibilities in the Revolution in Longevity; U. Lehr. Maintaining Prosperity in an Aging Society; N.M. Vanston. The Organization and Financing of Social Protection; B. Williams. Closing Session: Looking Through the Mirror of Old Age. Literature and Medicine: Garcia Marquez' `Love in the Time of Cholera'; A. Hudson Jones. Ethics and Longevity; J. Bernard. Longevity and Quality of Life; E. Wiesel. Conclusion. Synthesis; H.V. Fineberg. Contributors. Index.
Nations around the world are experiencing a spectacular increase in longevity. Society as a whole is being challenged by issues arising from this revolution in longevity. Although the specter of the loneliness and existential suffering of older citizens is such that some people under the age of 65 find it difficult to conceive of a long-term future, persons over 85 have proven that aging does not necessarily preclude a healthy and productive life. Extraordinary progress in both curative and preventive medicine justifies optimism about the quality of life and state of well-being that can be enjoyed even in great old age. We should look to professionals in diverse fields to develop creative solutions to the inevitable issues that will arise with aging. Governments must prepare for the future health of their citizens by making long-term investments to educate all sectors of society in the value of good nutrition, exercise, and lifestyles that enhance well-being throughout life. Also, governments should realize that the main cause of health care expenditure is serious illness which occurs in persons of all ages, and not predominantly in older people. Early detection can help save lives, as well.
Health and longevity of life will ultimately end as a political issue. What is needed is long-term government investments necessary for a viable health policy. The question arises: will world leaders be able to commit to such a policy? Two major socioeconomic phenomena may have a regulating effect on this issue. The first is the emergence of pressure groups that have come into being in response to a particular health issue, such as AIDS. The second is the emergence of ethics committees in developed nations that deal solely with health issues.
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