Prevention by healthy lifestyles (and sufficiently proven preventive medicine) are key factors for reducing medical costs at macro level on short notice. Right now, this is mainly a matter of individual choices, which is basically a good thing. What is lacking is the average individual sense of awareness regarding what constitutes a healthy lifestyle. Education is one of the major issues that needs improvement, combined with better research of preventive and proactively corrective medicine like SENS.
However, in our current health care model, these issues are very hard to turn into viable business cases for the pharmaceutical industry.
Furthermore, healthy lifestyles are perceived as cost driver. But is that really the case? I doubt that but I'm not able to provide sufficient proof.
If we want to give life extension a better name, we should research the cost of healthy living, hopefully resulting in the notion that the costs are manageable for "average people". They probably are if you apply the 80/20 rule. The right effort increase of 20% will result in a 80% improvement. And quiting smoking will reduce cost of living enormously, but is also an example of the kind of behaviour that is quite difficult to change.
Another important notion is that LE is not only about increasing lifespan, but doing so while quality of life is increased at the same time. I would go this far: if we are not able to increase lifespan, but are, for starters, able to increase quality of life and health within the existing lifespan, we would be enormously successful in the next couple of decades.
For instance, the study results of the Sinclair study on healthy mice revealed that resveratrol did not increase lifespan, but only increased health within the existing lifespan (ok, I'm cutting some important corners here, but just for the sake of my argument
). The irony is that this almost was perceived as debunking the effect of resveratrol. Amazing how we are able to look to the sky of great possibilities and then stumble over the first stone that is right in front of us or miss the small opportunities that are within reach.
Important side note: Surely, resveratrol still needs a huge effort of research before it can be used generally (I'm not using it in high dosage because I think that's to risk full), but was using it to illustrate the process of mild cognitive dissonance we are all suffering once in a while imo.
Edited by SubZero, 02 August 2008 - 11:43 AM.