Study “Anti-Ageing Medicine – Myths and Chances”
“Old age can be framed. Depending on care is not just fate.”
National councillor Bea Heim
Anti-Ageing Medicine Myths and Chances
CHF 58.- / € 39.-
What does “Anti-Ageing” mean?
The term “anti-ageing” encompasses two trends: on the one hand, the aim of medical and other measures is to help improve elderly people’s quality of life. On the other hand, it might be possible in future to influence human metabolism in such a way that ageing is slowed down generally. This in turn could lead to a further significant increase in life expectancy.
Promises and risks of “anti-ageing” medicine
There can be no doubt that a good quality of life for the elderly is a desirable aim. But what criteria define this quality? Is there a need for expanding medical achievements or are there other possibilities? Is the vision of extending life expectancy based on a realistic foundation? And is this increase desirable? What consequences do we have to reckon with for the working world, for social security, for leisure industry, for the cohabitation of different generations?
Why conduct a TA-SWISS study entitled “Anti-Ageing? Better Ageing!”?
The average life expectancy of new-born children in Switzerland is already very high compared to international standards, and continues to increase. The importance of elderly people’s health and their chances to live independently and without impairment for as long as possible is therefore growing steadily.
Aims of the study
• To discuss future prospects of anti-ageing medicine, as well as of other concepts enabling to “enhance ageing”
• To demonstrate ways in which elderly people’s quality of life could be improved through new therapies and other measures
• To evaluate the potential of a further increase in life expectancy and to question the desirability of relevant measures, as well as the interests of the stakeholders involved
• To evaluate possible consequences of an extended life expectancy, for instance for the working world, social security, leisure industry, and the cohabitation of different generations
• To investigate the topic of “medicine for healthy people”, particularly with regard to expanding medical achievements in the threshold range of therapy, performance improvement and “lifestyle medicine”
• To assess the current situation in an overall review, comparing different strategies aimed at “improving the ageing process”
• To issue recommendations for decision makers, i.e. politicians in particular
- Using an interdisciplinary approach, the topic will be investigated focussing on two main themes. The first of these will be discussed taking social, demographical, economic and cultural aspects into account. The second subject area will concentrate on medical aspects, as well as health care, environment and ethics.
- Specialist literature will be evaluated to develop the relevant fundamentals. Moreover, around 20 experts from different disciplines will be interviewed. Some themes will be analysed in more detail by more elaborate expert articles.
- Conclusions and recommendations will be formulated using the main findings from the various subject areas.
Project start: March 2006 | completion: spring 2008
Results and Downloads
Anti-Aging-Medizin: Das Altern sparen wir für später auf (in German)
Médecine antivieillissement : Mettons notre vieillesse de côté pour plus tard (in French)
Anti-Aging oder die alte Menschheitsidee des "Jungbrunnen" , 2/2008 (in German)
Antivieillissement ou la quête de la "fontaine de Jouvence", 2/2008 (in French)
Abridged Version of the study
pdf (German, French, English)
Anti-Ageing Medicine: Myths and Chances (Book)
Zufrieden alt statt krampfhaft jung
Report on the dialogue process PubliTalk "Anti-Ageing Medicine" (in German)
• Centre for Technology Assessment TA-SWISS
• Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences SAMW
• Innovation promotion Agency CTI at the Federal Office for Professional Education and Technology OPET
TA-SWISS Project Supervisors
• Dr Adrian Rüegsegger, TA-SWISS, e-mail
• Prof. Philippe Wanner, Economist and demographer, Laboratoire de démographie et d'études familiales, University of Geneva (Project Manager)
• Dr Astrid Stuckelberger, Psychologist and gerontologist, Institut de Médecine Sociale et Préventive (IMSP), Centre Médical Universitaire, Geneva
• Prof. Oreste Ghisalba, Novartis AG Basel, deputy of the CTI (chairman of the support group)
• Dr Hermann Amstad, Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences SAMW
• Margrit Bossart, Secretary general of the Swiss senior citizens council SSR, c/o Pro Senectute Bern (until October 2006)
• Maya Brändli, Editorial Office Society, Swiss Radio DRS2
• PD Dr Peter Diem, President of the Swiss society for endocrinology and diabetology, Insel Hospital, Bern
• Dr Salome von Greyerz, Section Head Strategy and Health Policy, Federal Office of Public Health
• Bea Heim, National councillor, Socialist Party SP, canton of Solothurn
• Prof. François Höpflinger, Sociological Institute, University of Zurich
• François Huber, Section “Children, Youth, Old Age” of the Federal Office for Social Security
• Dr Irmgard Irminger, Ageing biology laboratory, University of Geneva
• Dr Pedro Koch, Swiss Patient Organisation SPO (until January 2007)
• Dr Emil Kowalski, TA-SWISS Steering Committee
• Prof. Andreas Stuck, Geriatric university hospital, Bern-Ziegler Hospital
• Peter Seiler, Swiss senior citizens council SSR, Bern (from November 2006)
CH-3011 Bern T + 41 31 310 99 60
F + 41 31 310 99 61
The project in brief
Health, wellbeing and a youthful appearance: those are the goals of anti-ageing medicine. It is not only cosmetics that are sold under the anti-ageing label, but also, for example, food supplements and hormone replacement therapies. But which products really deliver what they promise? The TA-SWISS study offers an overview, and shows where the potentials and risks lie.
Timetable: 2006 - 2008
Project mandataries: Dr Astrid Stuckelberger, University of Geneva