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How to foster healthy and cognitively robust old age

University of Luxembourg

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The way people age is determined by many factors including lifestyle, health conditions, genetics but also socioeconomic position, social cohesion and even the current national economic situation. These factors hence do not only influence present life, but also have long-term consequences for mental and physical health in old age. Those implications are now presented in a new multidisciplinary publication on aging, co-edited by researchers from the University of Luxembourg.

The volume "Health and Cognition in Old Age. From Biomedical and Life Course Factors to Policy and Practice" published at Springer and co-edited by Anja K. Leist, research associate at the PEARL Institute for Research on Socio-Economic Inequality at the University of Luxembourg, presents current findings regarding healthy aging, especially the maintenance of cognitive and physical abilities and well-being. The 19 contributing authors are all participants in the FLARE programme (Future Leaders of Aging Research in Europe), an international programme for young postdoc researchers in different fields of gerontology supported by the European Union and led by Prof Alan Walker at the University of Sheffield, UK.

„In order to understand the complexity of the aging process and to ensure not only longer, but also healthier lives, we need to integrate and understand different perspectives of aging, which is why interdisciplinary and international cooperation are of vital importance", says Dr Anja Leist who edited the volume together with Dr Jenni Kulmala from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, and Dr Fredrica Nyqvist from the Finnish National Institute of Health and Welfare in Vaasa.

The contributing authors are working in Europe, Israel, and the United States of America in areas stretching from biomedicine, psychology, sociology or philosophy up to social policy. The chapters summarize new findings on different aging processes including, for example, evidence on how lifestyle contributes to the development of dementia, how working conditions relate to later-life health and how obesity impacts cognitive abilities in old age. In addition, optimal social conditions such as social networks, friends and welfare and their contribution to positive aging are presented. Furthermore, the volume includes findings from immunological and biomedical research which focuses on slowing down biological aging processes.

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Health and Cognition in Old Age. From Biomedical and Life Course Factors to Policy and Practice
Series: International Perspectives on Aging, Vol. 10, Leist, Anja K., Kulmala, Jenni, Nyqvist, Fredrica (Eds.) 2014, XXI, 329 p. 18 illus., 5 illus. in color. Hardcover.
Publisher: Springer. English. ISBN-13: 978-3319066493. More information: http://www.springer.com/978-3-319-06649-3

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