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Has “middle age” disappeared? Or has it moved (much) forward? – Corriere.it

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“In the middle of our life’s journey,” said Dante. For him, middle age was around 35, and today it’s very different and defines when it really begins and ends that period when a person is no longer young but not too old, that Les Mayhew, International Director Longevity Centre In the UK, he “threw in the towel”, declaring that “it makes no sense to try to associate a number with what we consider mid-age: With the extension of life expectancy, thirty years are no longer so and today it is also forty years. However, even if we want to select a file Midway fifty yearsThis is still an oversimplification because there are people at that age who are in full swing and may be creating another career, while others are dealing with serious health problems.”

Not just young

Although unwilling to generalize, it is a fact that in recent decades, in addition to gaining time, from an average life expectancy of about 60 years at the beginning of the 20th century to 83 years today, we often get into better shape in life. Third and Fourth: Looking at the pictures of a sixty year old man from the turn of the century and one from today a believer, it is possible that they look like father and son. So much so that a provocatively titled studyIs sixty the new fifty?That pushes middle age even further. But it’s not about exaggerated sexiness or the “help” feature of plastic surgery, because I am Mechanisms of biological aging It seems they have really changed in the past 20 years.

When does old age come?

Middle age is starting to slip Already more than thirty decades ago. The same goes for the gap between Chronological and biological age, between what is written on the identity card and the years we show it as well as in the general functioning of the organism, which has begun to expand over the past century. The US Union Army project, which analyzed more than 45,000 veterans born from the mid-19th century onwards, showed, for example, that at the dawn of the 20th century, volunteers between the ages of 20 and 40 were considered unfit for military service. Because they were already dealing with hernias, cardiovascular or respiratory problems after more than 50 years. In 80 years, between the 18th and 20th centuries, life without health problems increased by 10 years, and in the second half of the 20th century the trend became even more pronounced: a hundred years ago it was difficult to find a 60-year-old without diseases, often What health today begins to creak at 70, so much so that geriatricians recently suggested raising the aging bar from 65 to 75 because, as Niccolò Marchionne, President of the Italian Society of Geriatric Cardiology, notes, “He is 65 today, he has the physical and cognitive form For someone 40-45 years old 30 years ago, and another 75-year-old 55 years old: Scientifically, a person gets old when the average life expectancy is 10 years Today, a large part of the population between the ages of 60 and 75 is in excellent condition due to the delay in disease progression.”

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winning factors

De-aging had a lengthening effect Middle age, however, remains difficult to define: While other stages, such as childhood or adolescence, have relatively clearer outlines, the middle period is an elusive and modern concept, which has emerged with the increase in life expectancy and the cultural changes it has brought with it. Even in the 1990s alone, a large part of the population would agree with Dante and consider 35 to be middle age today. The period between the ages of 30 and 45 is defined as “stable adulthood” Middle age begins later. It happens because even the mechanismsbiological aging changed, particularly in the past 20 years: Morgan Levine of Yale University and Eileen Crimmins of the University of Los Angeles show it in the Journal of Demography, emphasizing that thanks to health conditions Less dangerous for the majority of the population, a Better access to foodIn the Less spread for heavy work But especially recently treatments, which maintain the good functioning of cells, tissues, and organs for a longer period, the “true” age of an organism gradually moves away from the chronological age and increasingly beyond the middle age beyond sixty. limit smokingfor example, helps many to “rejuvenate”: cigarette smoking spoils both the external appearance, and organs and tissues, because it significantly worsens blood circulation, and in the last two decades the number of former smokers has increased, especially among men.

In middle age, the foundations are being laid

there A recipe for longevity Removing “post” diseases from the horizon is relatively simple, as Andrea Ungar, MD, president of the Italian Society of Geriatrics and Geriatrics (SIG), emphasizes: «Only 25% of the rate at which we age is linked to genesand the rest depends on the environment: ie Diet, movement, and social relationshipswith good habits to be maintained throughout life but above all in the elusive middle age that extends more or less from 45 to 65 years, when Foundations of Healthy Aging ».

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correct grammar

“L”Mediterranean food For example, it is the best in terms of variety and balance and it is also the one that has been shown to have a positive effect on longevity and the prevention of diseases, from cardiovascular diseases to oncological diseases; also Walk in the fresh air And it “refreshes” lightly, as well Diagnosis and treatment any diseases gradually in order to preserve the functions of tissues and organs as long as possible.

Necessary medical examinations

Therefore, middle age is also the time to undergo some examinations, without running batteries of random tests every year, but making sure to know, from the age of forty on, one’s own levels. Cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure and heart rate And re-examined at the frequency indicated by the family doctor, more or less frequently depending on the risk profile. The regular visit is also used to monitor the results of tests such as: occult blood in stool, intended for people over 50 years of age for screening for colorectal cancer, or MammographyPerformed in women over the age of 45 for breast cancer screening.

the family

Finally, healthy relationships are needed to prolong a healthy midlife, Ungar adds: “Social relationships literally prolong life and keep us young, make us feel useful and connected to others and shorten our psychological lifespan, the years we feel the most.” Among the most important relationships in designing a long-term, healthy life path are those with a partnerspecifically during middle age: an American study in which more than 2,000 centenarians were analyzed showed that it is important to live a long and healthy life, and to participate in a healthy family environment, consisting of good habits and mutual support, especially from the ‘door’ onwards .

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Ike Walton
Ike Walton
"Infuriatingly humble analyst. Bacon maven. Proud food specialist. Certified reader. Avid writer. Zombie advocate. Incurable problem solver."
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