Enabling Healthful Aging for All — The National Academy of Medicine Grand Challenge in Healthy Longevity

During the past century, human life expectancy has nearly doubled globally, increasing by more years than it did in all previous millennia combined. Today, 617 million people are 65 years old or older; by 2050, the number will reach 1.6 billion — nearly 20% of the world’s population — and the population of the “oldest old,” 80 or older, will more than triple, growing from 126 million to 447 million.1 Major advances in public health, socioeconomic development, education, and health care have driven these dramatic gains. Yet this triumph presents challenges as well as opportunities.

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