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What is Lifespan?

Dr. Bahar Amin, MD.

In humans, lifespan is defined as the maximum length of time that a person can live. It represents the upper boundary of human life expectancy under ideal health and environmental conditions. The longest verified lifespan in humans is 122 years, achieved by Jeanne Calment of France.

What is Healthspan?

Healthspan refers to the period of a person's life during which they are generally healthy and free from serious or chronic illnesses. It focuses on the quality of life and functional capacity, rather than just the duration of life. The goal of extending healthspan is to maximize the years of life spent in good health, minimizing the time spent suffering from age-related diseases or disabilities.

What the difference between Longevity and Vitality?

Longevity refers to the length of an individual's life, particularly the extension of life beyond the typical lifespan associated with one's species, often focusing on achieving a long life through various health and wellness practices. Vitality, on the other hand, refers to the state of being strong, active, and full of energy, especially as it relates to the vigor and robustness often seen in youth. Both concepts are integral to discussions about aging, with longevity emphasizing the duration of life, and vitality emphasizing the quality and energy levels maintained throughout life.

Recent studies on longevity provide insights into factors influencing healthy aging and strategies to increase life expectancy. Here are some key findings:

  1. Genetics and Cardiovascular Health: A study found significant associations between longevity and genes like APOE and FOXO3A, which protect against cardiovascular diseases (Caruso et al., 2022).

  2. Nutritional and Lifestyle Factors: A systematic review highlighted the role of nutrition, physical activity, and lifestyle changes in promoting longevity, suggesting that quality diet and reduced sedentary behavior are beneficial (Junqueira & Pinto, 2023).

  3. Translational Research Initiatives: Several projects are underway to identify genetic and molecular pathways for potential therapeutic targets that promote exceptional health span, integrating large-scale data from human and non-human studies (Raghavachari et al., 2022).

  4. Risk Factors in Mid to Late Life: Longitudinal studies on modifiable risk factors such as BMI, smoking, and diet quality suggest that maintaining healthy behaviors across life can significantly enhance longevity (Ding et al., 2022).

These findings provide a comprehensive view of the multifaceted approach required for extending life expectancy and improving health in later years. For more in-depth reading, explore the research papers linked above.

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