Ageing: Report

Ageing: Report

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In the 2001 census there were more people over 65 than under 16 for the first time, and 20 per cent of the UK population is expected to be over 65 years of age by 2020. Consideration of this trend normally looks negatively at the economic costs and social problems involved, rather than the biological and psychological processes, and so this report approaches the subject from a scientific perspective. Firstly it examines the demographic background. Then it considers why and how ageing occurs, the ageing process, and the natural degeneration of the human body and mind over time, and looks at those diseases which are particularly prevalent in old age. There are exciting developments in biological research into the causes of ageing, and into what can be done to slow the adverse effects of the ageing process and improve the quality of life of older people. In the case of the individual diseases which predominantly affect older people, research is also showing promising avenues of development in prevention and treatment. Next the report examines the environmental challenges, assistive technology, and the failure of industry to seize the opportunity to exploit the underdeveloped market that the elderly represent. The Committee comments here on the failure to apply existing technologies rather than the pace of new developments. The report also covers management by the Government of health in old age, both for the individual and for society as a whole, and the strategic direction and coordination of ageing-related research. It finds that research is being inhibited by two main factors which are the responsibility of the Government: the treatment of the scientific aspects of ageing as very much the junior partner in any consideration of older people; and a lack of coordination, in particular between the research councils.According to Cancer Research UK, over 140, 000 people over 70 are diagnosed with cancer every year, amounting to 52% of all ... Professor Robert Souhami, Director of Policy and Communication at Cancer Research UK, saw the need for anbsp;...

Title:Ageing: Report
Author: Great Britain. Parliament. House of Lords. Science and Technology Committee
Publisher:The Stationery Office - 2005-01-01

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