10 October 2019
Aging is a complex phenomenon. We usually think of chronological age as a benchmark, but it is actually a backward way of defining lifespan. It tells us how long we’ve lived so far, but what about the rest of our lives?
In their pathbreaking book, Warren C. Sanderson and Sergei Scherbov provide a new way to measure individual and population aging. Instead of counting how many years we’ve lived, we should think about the number of years we have left, our “prospective age.”
Two people who share the same chronological age probably have different prospective ages, because one will outlive the other. Combining their forward-thinking measure of our remaining years with other health metrics, Sanderson and Scherbov show how we can generate better demographic estimates, which inform better policies. Measuring prospective age helps make sense of observed patterns of survival, reorients understanding of health in old age, and clarifies the burden of old-age dependency. The metric also brings valuable data to debates over equitable intergenerational pensions.
Sanderson and Scherbov’s pioneering model has already been adopted by the United Nations. Prospective Longevity offers us all an opportunity to rethink aging, so that we can make the right choices for our societal and economic health.
Scherbov will present and discuss the new book entitled "Prospective longevity: A new vision of population aging" at the Division of Public Policy, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology on the framework of a seminar. The book will be published in November with Harvard University Press.
For many years, Scherbov has conducted research in the field of aging and developed new measures of age and aging together with colleagues. He was principal investigator of the Reassessing Ageing from a Population Perspective (Re-Ageing) project at the World Population Program at IIASA that, among other things, ascertains the extent to which advanced societies are actually aging in multiple dimensions, including health, cognitive abilities, and longevity. He is also the IIASA partners in Ageing Trajectories of Health: Longitudinal Opportunities and Synergies (ATHLOS) project, that aims to achieve a better understanding of ageing by identifying patterns of healthy ageing pathways or trajectories and their determinants, the critical points in time when changes in trajectories are produced, and to propose timely clinical and public health interventions.
Event title: PPOL Seminar/Book Talk: Prospective longevity: A new vision of population aging
Date: 10 Oct 2019, 4:45pm - 6:15pm
Venue: Room 4621 (Lift 31-32), Academic Building, HKUST, Division of Public Policy
Information and registration: Event website.
Last edited: 16 October 2019
Analyzing Population Aging from a New Perspective
Sanchez-Niubo A, Egea-Cortés L, Olaya B, Caballero F, Ayuso-Mateos J, Prina M, Bobak M, Arndt H, et al. (2019). Cohort profile: The Ageing Trajectories of Health – Longitudinal Opportunities and Synergies (ATHLOS) project. International Journal of Epidemiology 48 (4): dyz077. DOI:10.1093/ije/dyz077.
Gietel-Basten S & Scherbov S ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0881-1073 (2019). Better way to measure ageing in Oceania that takes life expectancy into account. Australasian Journal on Ageing DOI:10.1111/ajag.12692. (In Press)
Gietel-Basten S, Mau V, Sanderson W, Scherbov S ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0881-1073, & Shulgin S (2019). Ageing in Russia: a Regional Appraisal. Journal of Population Ageing: 1-18. DOI:10.1007/s12062-019-9238-x.
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