Treating aging as a disease may extend health longer

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I am currently reading “Outlive,” by Peter Attia. He describes the “diseases of civilization” which he calls the “Horsemen” of ill health and death (morbidity and mortality). These are cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and dementia.

Attia’s crucial insight is that all chronic diseases start decades before they manifest in symptoms. To be fit in old age we must expend the effort to be super-fit in middle age since the body naturally declines over the years.

The entire book is about ways to lengthen lifespan and healthspan using exercise, diet, sleep and social interaction to combat the Horsemen. It’s all evidence-based, natural and requires significant modifications to many people’s lifestyles. Starting at least in middle-age, if not in youth. The earlier the better. It’s a lot of work and self-discipline.

Of course, people have known this basically forever! Rabbi Maimonides (who was a 12th century physician) wrote that health is maintained by exercise. He recommended getting some exercise before eating breakfast.

But, NO! We don’t want to do the work to maintain our health! We want a drug to treat aging so we can continue to eat the toxic Standard American Diet of junk food and sit on our butts all day watching screens.

That being said, I would like to remove senescent cells and get my youth back. But I’m not going to hold my breath or stop my anti-aging tactics.



Me too!. Well, I guess I would be!

I put it on hold.

Your holds position: #210 on 29 copies

I have a bit of a wait.

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Treating aging as a disease is a crime against humanity.

The Captain


Right on! The big hurdle is the rat race. We simply don’t have the time to take care of ourselves.

The Captain


This is an interesting article. Not least, because it demonstrates the notion of Science By Press Release (mentioned earlier) and how misleading studies…or, in this instance, rodent research…can be exaggerated and presented to the general public in an overly favourable light.

The author in this case has taken it a step further (as these health and science writers are sometimes prone to do) and in the process confused the concept of senescence/biological, eugeric aging with preventable diseases (3 of Attia’s 4 Horsemen…cancer, heart disease and dementia) Diseases are more frequent in the older population simply because the clinical manifestations take a long time to develop. Decades, rather than years, in fact. This is a common mistake that even people who ought to know better can make (for but one example, my delayed diagnosis of ASCVD)…but is probably more prevalent when writers (who you’d think know what they’re writing about) drift out of their lane.

And, as is common when Life imitates TMF, my early morning Z2/MAF/low lactate/ASCVD mitigation training was accompanied by the most recent Attia podcast AS ADVERTISED here.

This is shaping up to be one of the (many) interesting amd applicable to me (and others who’re as unaware as I was of my status 18 months ago) podcasts on his menu.

Apologies if it’s behind a paywall…the remedy is even easier than popping pills


That’s not really true. 75% of the time can be combined with doing other things. For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator. Do that everyday of your career over 35+ years and you will be way ahead of average. Walk to errands, even more ahead of average. Cook for yourself, can take under 30 minutes easily. Etc.


I bought mine. A number of reasons…one being I thought I’d be referring back to it multiple times in the future(correctly so). Pretty much why I very quickly converted my “teaser” monthly subscription to his website to annual…and have renewed it since

I kind of get what captain is saying, which should scare the living daylights out of him.

A disease implies there is a cure.

As Wendy has pointed out many times with her fine posts (hey, I can kiss up with the best of them), there is a lot one can do to slow the aging process down, but the only cures I’m aware of involve caskets or crematoriums.



Much of what Peter Attia promotes is relatively small scale stuff (although he…like me…is a heavy duty follower of a Healthy Lifestyle) Oftentimes simply NOT doing the things that are harmful. NOT smoking. NOT overeating…especially the craptaculous stuff. NOT sitting on your duff for extended periods.

Of course, the longer a person waits to start the healthy living stuff…especially folk who’ve lifestyled their way to disease…the greater the investment in time and effort becomes necessary. Not unlike providing for financial health and well-being in later years, really


I just took it off of my library’s hold and bought a copy.

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However, it’s really only the author’s implication that biological aging is being treated as a stand alone disease (incorrectly as far as his examples go) Of course, he would say that, wouldn’t he… he has a book out on the very topic!

A Straw Man argument, in fact.

Mind you, this sort of research isn’t without merit. Oftentimes the offshoot can be applicable to addressing the sort of genetic underpinnings of diseases that result in premature morbidity/mortality regardless of the healthiest of healthy lifestyles. Identifying polymorphisms in the PCSK9 gene for but one example mentioned.

I got a standing desk converter Jan 2021. When my PT heard about this three months later I let him know I was over the worst pain in my life two weeks later. He was shocked. He told me I was supposed to take some sitting breaks to reduce the pain. I said again after two weeks of standing 8 to 12 hours per day I was feeling very good.

Quite the contrary! I had the very good fortune of meeting Dr. Bill Thomas, turned geriatrician, founder of the Eden Alternative. He was horrified how badly elders were being treated. He claims that old age is not a disease, it’s life! He highlighted

the Three Plagues of nursing home existence: boredom, loneliness, and helplessness .

The Captain


I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. I’m well familiar with the topics/principles he’s presenting in this book from his podcasts, but to have them laid out in a readable format actually helps with putting the Big Picture in context. This is as opposed to try to put the individual puzzle pieces together as they come along in the podcasts.

I tended to think of Peter Attia as something of a huckster years ago when he hitched his wagon to Gary Taubes’s dog and pony, but he seems to have drifted back to legit data and evidence. Some of the interviewees on his podcasts are really excellent. Oftentimes putting their cutting edge research in a historical context too. Mind you, there are a couple of dodgy ones also but their nitwittery doesn’t seem to have polluted the book any.

That’s just not true. I used to go directly from work to the gym twice a week plus once on Saturday. (If I went home I couldn’t seem to get up and go.) I joined Gold’s Gym which had franchises across the U.S. so I could exercise when I traveled for work. (Same with the YMCA.) I even once took a customer to the gym so we could work out together instead of going to a bar to drink. (I don’t drink.)

Where there’s a will there’s a way.



You might be interested in this podcast

Here’s an interview that just popped up in The New York Times.



Indeed it is. Again, like the author of the original article in this thread, it’s a misleading promotion, though.

I don’t doubt that frail elders in nursing home care can definitely be treated badly. You’d have to be living under a rock to be unaware of this but it’s an example of “true … but irrelevant” (to healthy longevity, that is) See, the question to ask is what is it you’re looking at in a “nursing home” … frailty due to circumstances beyond the individual’s control and a function of the passage of time or the results of lifestyle choices and self neglect (pathogeric aging) Increasingly I suspect it’s the latter and these very people would be no less susceptible to those Three plagues…boredom, loneliness and helplessness…outside of the nursing home environment if they’d spent time neglecting the fundamentals of preventing Peter Attia’s Four Horsemen.