At Wired, Matt Reynolds suggests that increasing human longevity could possibly be related to extending our “healthspan” — the length of time we enjoy relatively good health before we become frail and more likely to suffer serious consequences from falls.
Healthspan—years lived in good health—might be the unsexy cousin of longevity research, but figuring out ways for people to live healthier lives could have a much greater impact than extending lifespan by a few years. A big part of extending healthy lives is pinpointing when people start to decline in health, and what the early indicators of that decline might be. One way is by looking at frailty—a measure that usually takes into account factors like social isolation, mobility, and health conditions to produce an overall frailty score. In England, the National Health Service automatically calculates frailty scores for everyone aged 65 and over, with the aim to help people live independently for longer and avoid two major causes of hospital admissions for older people: falls and adverse responses to medication.