Saturday, 6 December 2014

Gresham Lecture: Health and the Seven Ages of Man: Serious Ill Health in the Very Old and the Very Young

This is a recent Gresham College lecture by Christopher Whitty, Chief Scientific Advisor and Director of Research and Evidence at the UK Department for International Development.
Childhood deaths have declined due to various interventions although this has not been so marked for the newborn.
At the other end of life more people are living beyond their 70s. There has been a  dramatic reduction in circulatory diseases, now overtaken by cancers where rates remain stubbornly high as the major cause of mortality in the UK.
Whitty sees maximizing health and quality of life for the over 70s as a challenge for every society requiring at least the same determination, imagination and science across multiple disciplines which has led to the remarkable reduction in child mortality.
From a society benefit standpoint given the many years of productive life for society gained by increasing the lifespan of a young person, compared to the modest benefit from extending lives of seniors, what are the chances we will see the challenge taken up?

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