Many drugs today really help to postpone death to people with a variety of chronic diseases, from cardiovascular to infectious and autoimmune. Even cancer is today regarded as a chronic disease, the regular treatment of which allows patients to live significantly longer. Installing stents in vessels, artificial joints, pacemakers, organ transplants, heart valves and other devices not only prolong life, but also significantly improve its quality.
Health care – three development models
However, these fantastic advances in medicine lead to a sharp increase in health care costs. In the end, this puts a heavy burden on the state and society as a whole. This was recently written by the famous aging specialist Mikhail Blagosklonnyworking in the Center for the Study of Cancer. Roswell Park in the USA. To alleviate these problems, he suggested that health care should be actively engaged not only in the treatment of age-related diseases, but also in the prevention of aging: anti-aging medicine. For clarity, Favorable suggested three health models (see infographics). The first model existed in the middle of the 20th century, and it reflected, as it were, the natural course of events (the upper scheme). Man lived a normal life, and in 60-65 years the burden of diseases associated with aging fell on him. He was treated as far as possible, but the ability of doctors to prolong the life of such patients was severely limited. With the development of medicine, the life span of such patients with a bouquet of age-related diseases began to increase. And now medicine can prolong their life up to 80-85 years, on the graph it is the second model (average diagram).
- Axis below – years of life
- Subclinical aging – the aging of the body before the onset of age-related diseases.
The third model implies active actions, which make it possible to postpone aging and the onset of development of age-related diseases from 60-65 to 80 years, and when they occur, thanks to active therapy, life can be extended to 100 years (lower diagram).
Everyone is his own doctor
A large role in this is played not only by health care, but also by the position of the person himself. “In serious and large-scale research in the United States, it was shown that by changing their lifestyle, people can significantly delay the time of their death. The fact is that 55% of all deaths, and more specifically, 44% of cancer deaths and 72% of heart and vascular diseases are mainly associated with five risk factors that can be eliminated and thereby prolonged healthy time. life (before the onset of age-related diseases) and life in general, ”says Vladimir Anisimov, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Professor, Head of the Scientific Department of Carcinogenesis and Oncoherontology of the National Medical Research Center of Oncology named after N. N. Petrov of the Ministry of Health of Russia.
These five risk factors are:
- Overweight (body mass index> 25).
- Low physical activity (<30 minutes per day).
- A diet with excess fat and low intakes of fruits and vegetables, nuts, soy, fish, dietary fiber, polyunsaturated fatty acids.
- Alcohol consumption (mortality increases both its absolute rejection and consumption of more than 15 grams of alcohol per day).
Diseases must begin to heal before they occur.
“On the other hand, scientists can develop and implement tools that can slow down the aging process,” continues Anisimov. “This approach will allow a significant number of people to extend a healthy and productive life, pushing off the onset of age-related diseases.”
In 2006, 57 leading gerontologists of the world published an open letter on the LongevityScience website, in which they noted that aging of animals and prolongation of active life was achieved in laboratory animals (nematodes, fruit flies, mice, etc.). And therefore there is reason to believe that it is possible to slow down aging in humans. Many leading gerontologists believe that the time has come for long-term clinical studies in which the ultimate goal will be an increase in the healthy life expectancy (and, of course, longevity) of the human population, as the professor says.
“For example, in our institute back in the 1980s, the ability of anti-diabetic drugs from the biguanide and melatonin groups to slow down aging and prevent the development of tumors in laboratory mice and rats was revealed. In the early 2000s, we were the first in the world to experiment that showed Metformin prolonged life and reduced the incidence of breast cancer in a breed of mice predisposed to the development of this tumor (it occurs in them in 100% of cases). These drugs are being tested in the clinic of our center. It is already clear that they can be used to slow down aging and prolong a healthy period of life, ”says Anisimov.
There are other most promising areas in this area. This restriction of calorie intake and diets that mimic starvation, as well as regulation with the help of pharmacological agents of activity:
- growth hormone and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1);
- mTOR and S6K genes and enzymes;
- sirtuin proteins;
- process of inflammation in the body.
Active research aimed at slowing aging can lead to significantly greater dividends than just advances in the treatment of age-related diseases. This will lead to a reduction in the number of people with cardiovascular and oncological diseases. In addition, in the next 50 years, a slowdown in aging can bring the global economy up to 7.1 trillion dollars.