AgeNet - Aging Research Network-Resources
The Unfortunate Facts of Global Aging
- The Economic Burden of Chronic Disease on The United States - October 2007 - The Milken Institute has compiled one of the most comprehensive descriptions of the true nature of the cost of the chronic diseases of aging to the U.S. economy. With figures from 2003, the institute shows a yearly total cost of 1.3 trillion dollars in direct and indirect costs stating "reasonable improvements in preventing and managing chronic disease could reduce future economic costs of disease sharply, by 27% ($1.1 trillion) in 2023."
- Why Population Aging Matters - A Global Perspective - March 2007 - Produced by the National Institute on Aging of the U.S. National Insitutes of Health, the Forward of this important work reads: "...the significance of population aging and its global implications have yet to be fully appreciated. There is a need to raise awareness ...[of] the importance of rigorous cross-national scientific research and policy dialogue that will help us address the challenges and opportunities of an aging world...finding ways to reduce aging-related disability should become national and global priorities."
- Boomer Bulge: Dealing with the Stress of Demographic Change on Government Budgets in Canada - January 2009 - Healthcare overwhelms other savings in an e-brief from the C.D. Howe Institute which details how the increase in elderly and their care over the coming decades, and decrease in younger people, represent an implicit liability of 1.5 trillion dollars for the Canadian economy.
- The Graying of the Middle Kingdom - The Demographics and Economics of Retirement Policy in China - April 2004 - The synopsis of this paper by Richard Jackson and Neil Howe of The Center for Strategic & International Studies reads "By 2040 there will be 400 million Chinese elders—which is more than the total current population of France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the UK combined....China must take decisive steps to prepare for its coming age wave or face a crisis of immense proportions later in the century."
- A Graying World - The Dangers of Global Aging - Fall 2001 - Harvard International Review - Peter G. Peterson, author of the seminal work on global aging, "A Gray Dawn", states in this that "Not only are health costs rising faster than GDP, but the elderly consume three to five times more health-care services per capita than younger people...and it is precisely the population of the oldest of the old that will be growing most quickly." He also points out that compounding the problem will be the increase in medical technologies which although beneficial, are increasingly expensive. He quotes William Schwartz, a noted health technology expert who says few governments have a clue of what's about to hit them; "Everything that's happened up to now in medicine is a prelude," he reports. "What's really ahead is stunning. It's going to be very expensive."
An Overlooked Solution
- The Strong Financial Case for Regenerative Medicine and the Regen Industry - May 2008 - Chris Mason and Peter Dunhill of University College London describe the dramatic benefits and need for investment in regenerative medicine citing progress in the treatment of many chronic diseases such as Parkinson's, Type II Diabetes, hypertension and others.
- The Longevity Dividend - March 2006 - Five notable and senior experts in the fields of demography, gerontology and policy combine their voices to call upon the politicians in Washington to consider the tremendous savings to be found in approaching the root cause of age-related disease and develop new technologies which affect the aging process itself. You can view the signatories to their proposal here.
- The Value of Health and Longevity - Journal of Political Economy, 2006, vol. 114, no. 5 - Kevin Murphy and Robert Topel develop a framework for valuing improvements in health and apply it to past and prospective reductions in mortality in the US. They're rigorous treatment shows that cumulative gains in life-expectancy post-1970 are equal to 3.2 trillion dollars per year in additional national wealth. This follows-up on and reprises their seminal work on the economic value of medical research in 1998 which describes "the future potential gains from innovations in healthcare" as extremely large in the tens of trillions of dollars.
- The Benefits of Medical Research and the Role of the NIH - May 2000 - This report from the NIH outlines the numerous benefits of medical research. The report maintains that the 16 billion dollar yearly investment in the NIH budget is handsomely rewarded with a significant portion of the 2.4 trillion dollars in added longevity.
- Can We Afford to Live Longer in Better Health? - July 2005 - Ed Westerhout and Frank Pellikaan of the European Network of Economic Policy Research Institutes provide an insightful look at the common misperception that longer-lived populations have increased healthcare costs, instead highlighting the fact that it is health-status in a population that dictates how much medical care expenditures are required.
- Make Like a Salamander - Fall 2006 - The McGowan Center for Regenerative Medicine and the Faculty of Medicine at Pittsburgh University describe a breakthrough in unlocking the human body's ability to regenerate in a project funded by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
Online Article Links
Graying means paying — more for pensions, more for health care, more for nursing homes for the frail elderly.. In 2030, young people will have the future on their side. Elders will have the votes on theirs. Bold new investments in education, the environment or foreign assistance will be highly unlikely.
...those of working age will have to support a vastly increased number of dependants...in western Europe the working population is likely to start shrinking as soon as next year or 2010. The same is true for China...In order to head off the worst problems a few decades hence, action will need to be taken straight away...
Links to Other Organizations Promoting the Value of Medical Research