Published Web Locationhttps://doi.org/10.1089/rej.2015.1774
The main goal of this paper is to present the case for shifting the focus of research on aging and anti-aging from lifespan pharmacology to what I like to call healthspan pharmacology, in which the desired outcome is the extension of healthy years of life rather than lifespan alone. Lifespan could be influenced by both genetic and epigenetic factors, but a long lifespan may not be a good indicator of an optimal healthspan. Without improving healthspan, prolonging longevity would have enormous negative socioeconomic outcomes for humans. Therefore, the goal of aging and anti-aging research should be to add healthy years to life and not merely to increase the chronological age. This article summarizes and compares two categories of pharmacologically induced lifespan extension studies in animal model systems from the last two decades-those reporting the effects of pharmacological interventions on lifespan extension alone versus others that include their effects on both lifespan and healthspan in the analysis. The conclusion is that the extrapolation of pharmacological results from animal studies to humans is likely to be more relevant when both lifespan and healthspan extension properties of pharmacological intervention are taken into account.