Towards priorities for aging research - Scott Needham
The global population is aging and age remains the primary risk factor for all major causes of death (COD). Progress in aging research will be essential to reduce disease burden. Funding research into senescent diseases with the highest burdens will bring the greatest benefit to society, yet no specific means to evaluate aging research priorities currently exists. As investors in the life sciences field we reviewed the mortality modelling literature and identified tools to analyse the 2003 Australian mortality data. Two approaches for ranking COD are presented: 1) after adjusting for risk factor-associated deaths and 2) after excluding diseases that decelerate in old age. Such models will improve efforts to target funding to research fields with the most potential to benefit human health.