Could someone age without any chronic disease?

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Could someone age and get old without any chronic disease, even the most common diseases like diabetes, heart attack, high blood pressure, etc...

not including hair loss, presbyopia, or any disease that is temporary and can heal completely

Is it possible to achieve this by change in lifestyle only? Or is it largely determined by family history?
 

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  • #2
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It is highly unlikely someone could live untouched by chronic illnesses. There are too many unknowns to even consider doing this calculation.

Science has yet to determine all the factors that cause certain illnesses so it would be hard to avoid them.

The best approach would be insurance actuarial tables on life-span but they don't get into the details of illness.

It never hurts to live as healthy as possible but sometimes life situations get in the way.

As an example, you might choose to only drink water but then find that your supply got tainted due to a water main break (The Great Texas Ice Storm of 2021), or the pipes are ruined from a water source switch (Flint Michigan) spewing toxins in the water.
 
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  • #3
Tom.G
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Could someone age and get old without any chronic disease...

That seems to be a rather ambiguously worded question!

Would you consider organ failure to be a 'disease', or is it a 'natural degradation due to age'?

For instance the eyes, liver, heart, kidneys, vascular system, brain, and likely all systems, degrade with age; and you can die from any of them.

So your answer apparently depends on how you classify these organ degradations. Take your pick and you have answered your question.
 
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  • #5
Keith_McClary
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Then you die of "natural causes"?
 
  • #6
Ygggdrasil
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Here's a useful reference on the biology of aging that might have some insights:

The Hallmarks of Aging
Lopez-Otin et al. Cell 153: 1194 (2013)
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0092867413006454?via=ihub
Also freely available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3836174/

Abstract:
Aging is characterized by a progressive loss of physiological integrity, leading to impaired function and increased vulnerability to death. This deterioration is the primary risk factor for major human pathologies including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, and neurodegenerative diseases. Aging research has experienced an unprecedented advance over recent years, particularly with the discovery that the rate of aging is controlled, at least to some extent, by genetic pathways and biochemical processes conserved in evolution. This review enumerates nine tentative hallmarks that represent common denominators of aging in different organisms, with special emphasis on mammalian aging. These hallmarks are: genomic instability, telomere attrition, epigenetic alterations, loss of proteostasis, deregulated nutrient-sensing, mitochondrial dysfunction, cellular senescence, stem cell exhaustion, and altered intercellular communication. A major challenge is to dissect the interconnectedness between the candidate hallmarks and their relative contribution to aging, with the final goal of identifying pharmaceutical targets to improve human health during aging with minimal side-effects.
 
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  • #7
tech99
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Could someone age and get old without any chronic disease, even the most common diseases like diabetes, heart attack, high blood pressure, etc...

not including hair loss, presbyopia, or any disease that is temporary and can heal completely

Is it possible to achieve this by change in lifestyle only? Or is it largely determined by family history?
An example of ageing without chronic disease is the Peak Expiratory Flow, which drops quite predictably with age without any particular disease being present. However, it seems difficult to find other examples like this, and general physical performance seems to reduce only very slowly with age.
 
  • #8
jim mcnamara
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Realistic example of controlling chronic diseases in the near future:

M Kohlmeier 'Nutrient Metabolism Structures, Functions, and Genes' 2015 2ed. Academic Press
M Kohlmeier 'Nutrigenetics Applying the Science of Personal Nutrition' 2013 Adademic Press

Chronic disease has a strong environmental component. A major player in this is diet. So it is a good example of Skinner's Heredity-Environment Interaction you learned in high school biology. I hope.

The two books above are not beginner reading, but they discuss in depth on how our DNA interacts with our diet, and the resulting chronic diseases that occur when there is a metabolic problem with a nutrient or a group of chemically related nutrients

Here is a much shortened example from the second book:

30 year old female patient with a normal BMI, and a good diet high in fiber, like whole wheat bread. She cannot conceive.

Smart physician orders a tTG-IgA test, positive, and more followups to confirm his diagnosis: Celiac Disease (CD). This is a genetic problem that prevents the body from using the gluten protein found in bread. i.e., her otherwise healthy diet is NOT healthy for her. She changes diet, eliminates gluten, and has her baby.

Untreated CD causes a host of diseases, and the responsible gene occurs in about 1% of humans.
Table 1.1 in Nutrigenetics lists some other common nutrient problems with genetic root causes.

Short version - when it becomes economically reasonable to do a full genome analysis, physicians will be able to spot genetic time bombs in the diet before they do serious damage, and reduce or eliminate many chronic diseases with changes in diet. In theory at least.

Last cost estimate I saw: $US5000 for full genome. Someone else may have newer information.
 
  • #9
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The wiki article of supercentenials (people who live to 110) says studies show the greatest commonality among them is a healthy cerebellum, at least relative to the aged.

By this standard I probably won't see 110. I have an aneurysm the size of my index finger in mine. The right vertebral artery. (Technically should have killed me three years ago when it kinked.)
 
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  • #10
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No need for sorrow Mr. McClary.

But thank you anyway. :smile:
 
  • #11
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP)

Six in ten Americans live with at least one chronic disease, like heart disease and stroke, cancer, or diabetes. These and other chronic diseases are the leading causes of death and disability in America, and they are also a leading driver of health care costs.

At CDC, our job is to make it easier for all Americans to make healthy choices so they can enjoy life. We know that most chronic diseases can be prevented by eating well, being physically active, avoiding tobacco and excessive drinking, and getting regular health screenings. CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP) helps people and communities prevent chronic diseases and promotes health and wellness for all.

[. . .]

###
https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/index.htm
 
  • #12
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Ms. Sanburn, I'm sure you're aware that of the estimated 400 billion humans who have ever lived, only a minor fraction of these ever lived long enough to develop these problems? Much less having over 200 million citizens with these issues at the same time?

We must be doing SOMETHING right. :smile:

(I was a carrier sailor. I developed a deep respect for the public health experts on our medical team. One can develop a public health crisis quite fast when you pack 6000 human beings into a space 1000x500x 200 feet for months on end.)
 
  • #13
Welcome home sailor!:wink: Life is a journey~ hopefully a journey to look forward dear Big Don.
Quiet frankly :smile: you are right.

I used to work in two hospitals many years ago. I'm retired now. I have no problems except "today" when my 10 foot rose bush fell down due to the heavy winds! I'm still upset about my roses! :frown:
 
  • #14
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Oh, I'm so sorry about your rose!

My father was a member of the American Rose Society of such good standing they sent him plants for testing in his climate zone AND he was on their map of people who allowed visitors to look at his garden. (with advanced notice of course.

I just planted a pair of a new to me cultivars "Fragrant Cloud" Look a lot like Tropicanas, with a more ember like quality. Won't photogragh true either. All it's subtler reds show up as yellow on my cellphone.
 
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  • #15
Well, I love flowers! I have 5 vases in my house filled with flowers~
and I love poetry. Here is a poem for you dear BigDon:

Flowers awoke to the soft rain of leaves,
and hummingbird feathers dancing in mid-air,
for Earth had blushed as she gleefully sung
Big Don has hit another home run!
 
  • #16
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Why thank you!

I'd say more but I'm guessing the mods are already looking at our last few posts as a sidetrack.
 

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