It is common knowledge that aging is a natural part of life, but scientists are now asking for a new classification on the condition of aging, claiming it is a disease. A recent paper on the subject calls for greater classification of aging, based on context from the 11th World Health Organization’s International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems.
There is much disagreement among demographers, gerontologists and biogerontologists surrounding the subject of aging as a disease, but scientists believe by classifying aging as a disease it will unite scientists and practitioners, which in turn will help prevent age-related processes and inspire more research in the aging category.
Alex Zhavoronkov, CEO of Insilico Medicine, said, “Aging is a complex multifactorial process leading to loss of function and a very broad spectrum of diseases. While the notion of whether aging itself is a disease is usually disputed, classifying it as such will help shift the focus of biomedicine from treatment to prevention. Classifying aging as a disease with multiple ‘non-garbage’ ICD codes may help create business cases for large pharmaceutical companies to focus more R&D resources on this important field.”
“Considering the unprecedented increases in life expectancy and the heavy burden of medical costs in the developed countries, maintaining the human body in the disease-free youthful state for as long as possible is not just an altruistic cause, but a pressing economic necessity,” he concluded.
The findings were published in Frontiers in Genetics.