Aging Facts
Aging Facts

43 Geriatric Aging Facts

By Madeline Thatcher, Associate Writer
Published September 8, 2019
  • Gerontology is the study of aging.[5]
  • Senescence is the decline of biological functions and of the ability to adapt to metabolic stress—essentially the physical characteristics of growing older.[5]
  • Humans start to age as soon as they reach adulthood—about 25 years old.[5]
  • The decline of organs with age is due in part to cell loss from these organs, since cells cannot replicate fast enough to replenish themselves.[5]
  • Aging Eye Fact
    Many organs lose functionality with age.
  • A quarter of Americans between the ages of 65–74 are classified as blind. Over half of people in the same age group are deaf.[5]
  • Pupil size decreases with age, making it harder to see.[5]
  • Aging makes it difficult to change the focus of your eye between things far away and things close at hand. This is called presbyopia.[5]
  • The ability to see in the dark decreases with age, while sensitivity to light increases.[5]
  • Older people lack the ability to hear sounds at high frequencies; most people over the age of 65 cannot hear any sounds with frequencies over 10,000 cycles per second. A healthy young adult can hear frequencies of up to 20,000 cycles per second.[5]
  • Taste buds die and do not regenerate as we age.[5]
  • Some scientific studies have suggested that pain sensitivity slightly decreases after age 70.[5]
  • Skin loses its elasticity as people grow older.[5]
  • Anti-Aging Treatment Fact
    Everyone wants to look younger, but scientists are still working out how to make it happen.
  • When applied to the skin, female sex hormones can help skin cells regenerate and improve their elasticity.[5]
  • In the early 1900s, sex glands from animals were transplanted into human males in an effort to rejuvenate their sex hormones, but these experimental efforts did not work.[5]
  • Bones lose calcium as they grow older, making them more fragile and likely to break.[5]
  • Osteoporosis, a common disease that affects the levels of calcium and minerals in bones, affects women more often than men.[5]
  • Breathing becomes more difficult as the body ages, since the amount of air that can be inhaled and stored in the lungs decreases over time.[5]
  • Smoking ages your lungs. In clinical studies, the lungs of habitual smokers appeared to be 10–15 years older than the lungs of their same-aged counterparts who did not smoke.[5]
  • Adults who exercise are less likely to have a cardiovascular disease when they grow older.[5]
  • Old people can increase their heart rate to 150 beats per minute; younger people can increase the rate to over 200.[5]
  • Heart diseases are the leading causes of death for people over the age of 65, since the heart’s ability to function decreases with age.[5]
  • The amount of blood pumped by your heart decreases by almost 50% by the time you’re 90 years old.[5]
  • Age Sex Facts
    While your parents and grandparents may not be gettin' busy as often as they used to, a large portion of senior citizens are still sexually active.
  • Sexual activity decreases with age; married 20-year-olds have sex an average four times per week, as compared to married 60-year-olds, who have sex once per week.[5]
  • Progeria is a disease that displays symptoms of early aging. Children with progeria are often bald, have thinning skin, and experience general muscle fatigue. Most die from cardiovascular disease before they reach adulthood.[5]
  • Only 50 cases of progeria, a rapid-aging disease found in children, have been identified for further research.[5]
  • While older people require more time to learn new things, they can understand and remember new material as well as younger people.[5]
  • People don't like getting older, but they do like changing. Staying the same is a kind of death.

    - Tommy Wallach

  • Aging often affects short-term memory and response time to outside stimuli, making it harder for older people to remember things that happened recently or react to external factors in their environment.[5]
  • Reversing certain gene activity may be the cure for human aging.[6]
  • Scientists have experimented with the genes that turn adult cells into embryonic-like ones, and mice injected with the new genes have aged slower and healed from injuries faster than mice who did not receive the injection.[6]
  • Aging is generally believed to be caused by epigenetic changes, or changes in a gene that affect its activity levels. When a gene’s activity level is changed, muscles and minds stop working as effectively as they should, and humans become more likely to contract an illness that could prove fatal.[6]
  • Anti-aging research has discovered that lower calorie intake and blood transfusions from younger test subjects can decrease the effects of aging in test animals.[6]
  • Jeanne Calment was verified as the oldest person to ever live. She was born in 1875 and died in 1997 at the age of 122.[7]
  • Aging Worldwide Africa
    The average life span has increased globally, meaning almost every community can expect their people to live longer than their parents did.
  • By 2050, 22% of the population will be 60 years or older.[1]
  • The World Health Organization purports that ageism may be more common than racism or sexism around the world.[1]
  • The average human life expectancy in 2016 was 72 years old.[3]
  • The average worldwide life expectancy for women is 74.2 years.[3]
  • The average worldwide life expectancy for men is 69.8 years.[3]
  • Average worldwide life expectancy rose by 5.5 years from 2000 to 2016, which is the fastest increase since the 1960s.[3]
  • African life expectancy increased by 10.3 years from 2000 to 2016, the largest growth in any world region.[3]
  • In bias studies, people with younger facial features were regarded more positively than those with older facial features, suggesting old age is considered to be a negative trait in Western societies.[4]
  • While communication between older and younger people may often be difficult, this is generally caused by implicit biases younger generations may have about old people, rather than an actual inability to understand one another.[4]
  • While metabolism rates do slow as people age, regular exercise can keep metabolisms working more efficiently despite old age.[2]
  • Eccentric exercise (movements that lengthen the muscles rather than contracting them) can help reduce and even reverse signs of aging and can keep people looking and feeling younger longer.[2]
References

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