Anti-Aging Medicine: Catchphrase of the New Millennium?
A tremendous amount of attention is being devoted to a topic known as "Anti-Aging Medicine." Essentially, this subject refers to our improved understanding of the factors that enhance or accelerate the aging process. With this new understanding, we are better equipped to approach aging not only in terms of appearance, but also to promote long-term improved aging and wellness. This new specialty may well emerge as the preeminent mode of medical care for the twenty-first century.
Why has this intense level of interest and research developed? All diseases fall into one of four categories; the first three - inherited genetic disease, infectious disease, and trauma - account for only 10 percent of the health care costs in this country. A staggering 90 percent of all health care dollars are spent on care rendered during the last three years of life. One hundred million Americans are currently being treated for one or more degenerative disease of aging at a health care cost of more than $700 billion per year. If we really want to make an impact on health care in this country and around the world, we must focus on the degenerative diseases of aging.
The science of anti-aging medicine is truly multi-disciplinary. Not only represented by advances in the fields of biochemistry, biology, and physiology, the field is enhanced by contributions from mind/body medicine, sports medicine, molecular genetics, and emerging medical technologies. The current areas of focus for optimal health and life extension include the following:
- Genetics (identifying and screening those at greater risk for certain diseases)
- Lifestyle Modification (stress reduction, avoidance of smoking and alcohol)
- Toxin Avoidance (fluoride, aluminum, pesticides, asbestos, lead, radiation, heavy metals)
- Exercise (exercise can improve stamina, help maintain weight control, and improve general health)
- Nutrition (a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, and moderate protein intake)
- Anti-Oxidants (to eliminate free radicals and pollutants)
- Immune System Enhancement (to decrease susceptibility to infection)
- Hormone Maintenance (ensuring that appropriate levels are maintained)
Dr. Don Revis, Jr. is board certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery.