The Surprising Benefits of Delaying Aging

Many issues were discussed in the lead up to the recent federal election here in Australia, but one that barely got a mention was the prevention of the chronic diseases that are associated with aging. We’re all impacted by chronic disease to some degree, yet the lack of attention on this topic would suggest that it’s not commonly at top of mind.A recent study published in Nature Aging titled ‘The Economic Impact of Targeting Aging,’ showed that a slowdown in aging that increased life expectancy by 1 year would be worth US$38 trillion to the USA economy in a single year. This estimate factors in productivity and quality of life factors, as well as savings in healthcare.*This figure, in proportion to Australia’s population, would equate to roughly US$3 trillion without factoring in exchange rates, differing healthcare costs, pensions etc. Even a conservative estimate of AU$1 trillion would yield an economic benefit more than 10 times greater than volume of the JobKeeper initiative that cost $89 billion over 12 months.The projections published in Nature Aging assume that aging can be treated and that such treatment had been universally adopted. Estimates vary, but most predictions I’ve seen relating to the effective medical treatment of aging are around 13-15 years away, and I question whether it could or would be taken by all. In my view, such studies help call into question the inevitability of age-related decline and inspire insights into what may be done about it on a personal level.


What you don’t know can hurt you

I’m optimistic about what is in the pipeline, and aim to avoid succumbing to something preventable in the meantime. I recently undertook a highly comprehensive health assessment at HealthScreen in Melbourne. Their program is oriented toward early detection of chronic disease utilising MRI, CT scan, ultrasound and bloodwork. It’s the most thorough preventative health assessment I could find in the country. There’s screening for 20 different types of cancers, but the core focus is on cardiovascular health. I was pleased (and surprised!) to have been given all clear and a solid set of baselines for future comparison. I can recommend it – though I should mention there wasn’t much change out of three thousand dollars for the full assessment. In researching which health assessment to take, a less involved option would be a cardiovascular risk assessment which is recommended every 4-6 years for low-risk people.

The way forward

From my research, optimising our lifestyle choices over the long term is our best bet in terms of preventing chronic disease . Thinking specifically about dementia, a major report on dementia prevention published in the Lancet Journal indicated that up to 40 percent of cases could be prevented through lifestyle modification, with addressing hearing loss as the most potent intervention.**


Maintaining your hearing aids

On the topic of ‘selfcare,’ we’ve developed a range of troubleshooting videos to help you address the most common maintenance issues with our most commonly prescribed devices. Most are simple, quick fixes to save you the need to schedule, travel to and attend an appointment. We hope you find them useful! You can access them via the following link:

Click here to access the videos

*Scott, A.J., Ellison, M. & Sinclair, D.A. The economic value of targeting aging. Nat Aging 1, 2020 616:623**Livingston G, Huntley J, Sommerlad A, et al. Dementia prevention, intervention, and care: 2020 report of the Lancet Commission. Lancet. 2020 Aug 8;396