Treating disease instead of preserving health. This is is a summary of the way our health care systems operate. This approach, which has greatly increased life expectancy worldwide over the years, now faces a problem: people spend much of their old age (and beyond) living, often poorly, with chronic conditions that could have been prevented. It is the diseases of modern lifestyles and, in part, their lack of prevention that are costing the health care system dearly today. That’s why companies like SoLongevity are investing in changing this paradigm, focusing on prevention and healthy aging. SoLongevity is, of course, not alone. Collaborating in this revolution are international players. The vision is shared and was presented recently at the Longevity World Summit in London, where a new British longevity program, Quantum Healthy Longevity, was also launched, described in an article in The Lancet Healthy Longevity(link here).
A system based on prevention, not disease resistance
The consequences of an approach to health care based on treating disease instead of promoting health are no longer sustainable. In the United Kingdom, as found inThe Lancet Healthy Longevity, 40 percent of health system costs go to treating preventable diseases. Not only that, the general welfare of society is suffering, where the gap between the life expectancy of the richest and the poorest is increasing (the difference reaches 20 years in the UK), and productivity and the economy in general are also affected. The biology of aging has identified common features of age-related diseases, such aschronic inflammation andcellular aging, and with them the specific factors that cause them. However, a multi-pronged action plan is needed.
National health systems spend a lot of money to treat diseases that are actually preventable
Acting on lifestyle and environmental factors
Factors that determine the occurrence of disease include lifestyle factors, such as diet and physical activity; socioeconomic factors, such as discrimination, education and skills training, financial status, and social support; and, increasingly, characteristics of the physical environments around us, such as green spaces and air quality, need more attention. Ongoing interactions with the surrounding physical and social environment and exposure to stressors or pathogens throughout life (which, in a word, scientists call the exposome) play a crucial role in determining the future health of individuals.
Interactions with the surrounding environment and exposure to stressors or pathogens throughout life play a crucial role in the onset of disease
An international plan
The plan of the UK’s Quantum Healthy Longevity program is to identify all factors that are capable of determining the chronic inflammatory state underlying many diseases. The idea is that all data regarding lifestyle, environmental, economic, and social conditions can be managed and analyzed by software usingartificial intelligence to predict the onset of possible diseases and, more generally, that can be used to educate and encourage a healthier lifestyle. Promoters of the program, and first signatories of the article, include: Nicola Palmarini, director of a major international consortium, the National Innovation Center for Aging (NICA) of NewCastle, in which SoLongevity is a partner, and Tina Woods, of the British Society for Research on Ageing, Durham (UK), among the world’s leading experts in health longevity research.
From its inception, SoLongevity embraces the logic of quantifying health data with the goal of making a clinical prevention pathway for chronic noncommunicable diseases customizable and simple.