J Korean Med Assoc.  2007 Mar;50(3):208-215. 10.5124/jkma.2007.50.3.208.

Understanding of Aging

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Inje Institute of Advanced Studies, Korea. insoonkwon@hanmail.net


There is no consensual definition of aging, at present. Aging is said to be all the changes of organism from its birth to death including maturation, development and adulthood and increase of probability of dying with time. And some scientists use senescence as the progressive accumulation of irreversible degenerative changes leading to loss of homeostasis and lack of adaptation to stress to differentiate from aging. Primary or normal aging process is conceptually considered to be universal changes with age, independent of environmental and lifestyle factors. And basic mechanism of intrinsic aging is still unknown. Secondary aging changes include the environmental and disease effects. It is not easy to distinguish normal aging from disease. Successful aging describes high physical, cognitive and social function with no disability and disease. Future research of aging toward successful aging involves study about basic me-chanism of aging with behavioral and societal changes, epidemiologic and clinical research about age related diseases and human longevity study. Identifying factors and interventions will lead to long and healthy human lifespan by delaying of aging process and prevention of disability and the age related diseases.


Aging; Normal; Disease; Environment; Healthy longevity
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