Exploring the multifactorial nature of age-related health deterioration
Many diseases accrue in individuals in old age. Whilst some degree of declining health seems inevitable with advancing age, there is a great amount of variation in when and what disease older individuals develop in their later years. Many organs of the body deteriorate, and these are likely to decline due to different causes, and with varying effects on the overall health that people experience. Typically, medical treatments are directed at single diseases or health conditions to prevent or alleviate these in isolation, whereas the most impactful treatments for preventing or slowing the overall decline in health with age may be those which have wider reaching benefits and reduce the risk of multiple disorders.
Our research aims to better understand the potentially inter-related causes and consequences of four major physiological systems, and how these relate to the rate at which health declines with age, in order to identify central pathways that could be modified to improve ageing health. This may lead to new or repurposed treatments, or preventive strategies to introduce nationally such as tailored health advice, which are introduced to different sectors of the population based on their own health profiles and needs going into later years.