The landscape of biological ageing

The landscape of biological ageing

Whilst we are living longer on average, our desire to 'cheat death' remains. And it has spurned a big, and growing industry.

Summary: Whilst life expectancy has been steadily rising on average, the desire to live longer remains. A number of 'battle grounds' are receiving investment - $5.2 bn in 2022 - including renewal therapies, diagnostics, precision medicine, drug discovery platforms and immunology. Other relevant, and maybe not so obvious areas, include diet and mental fitness.

Why this is important: The whole approach to health and well-being could move from one focused on treatment to prevention; from allopathic (focus on specific ailments) to holistic. If we do start living longer, and in better health, there will be knock-on effects to society, family, education and productivity.

The big theme: The ongoing survival of the human species is one of the ultimate sustainability themes. Understanding the broad spectrum of influences on human ageing can help us understand areas for investment as well as individual choices that we can make.

The details

We're living longer

Life expectancy has been rising steadily in modern times. Improvements in healthcare, advances in medicine, hygiene, living conditions as well as food and nutrition have led to us living longer. Spikes and dips can occur due to changes in reporting, pandemics and wars - 2020 saw a dip following the COVID-19 pandemic.

(Data: World Development Indicators)

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