Is It Fair To Say Aging Is a Disease?

In many ways, it may seem silly to call aging a disease, since it’s both universal and natural for all living creatures. However, some types of aging can be seen as pathological because they are accelerated and, therefore, abnormal. One example is the deterioration of the skin due to UV exposure, which can lead to rapid aging and cancer. However, to call aging a disease would be to classify us as constantly in a state of disease. It can also be argued that aging serves no purpose, which makes it seem less natural. Exactly what is a disease? Disease at its most basic is seen as a deviation from the norm. In this sense, aging is completely normal. On the other hand, calling aging a disease allows researchers to investigate its causes and, potentially, actions that might stop bodily and cognitive decline that are the hallmarks of aging. When people die of old age, autopsies show a series of degradation in their bodies that could potentially be stopped. They are the body’s typical reaction to the passage of years, but they represent abnormal cellular functions that lead to the body growing more frail and senile. Aging is harmful to the body no matter how you look at it. Should we do nothing about it? If we were to reject aging as a disease, then only researchers with age-related research funding would be able to study it. That means that eventually only the rich would have access to aging treatments because insurance companies wouldn’t cover them. So, while saying aging is a disease may be bit of an insult to the elderly, it could also help extend their lives.