ILA joins UK parliament consultation on gaining extra years of healthy longevity

ILA has submitted ideas on how to increase healthy longevity as part of a consultation by the UK’s new All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Longevity.

ILA is pleased to see the UK government taking the initiative on life extension by setting a goal of five more years of healthy average life expectancy by 2035 while also closing the social gap in healthy life expectancy.

As part of this, the country’s parliament has set up the APPG for Longevity, bringing together members of the upper and lower houses, an advisory board of leading British figures from the worlds of science, medicine and business and high profile sponsors.

Its goal is to “promote living younger, healthier and longer lives” and it wants to move from the idea of the “problem” of an “ageing society” to turning ageing into “one of the most promising opportunities of the  21st century”. The APPG says it hopes Britain may become a global leader in the sector and provide access to all to a “longevity dividend” in an equitable way.

One of its first actions since setting up was to seek evidence and recommendations on how it may develop a national strategy to achieve its target, and the results from this will inform the national strategy which will be published early next year.

In ILA’s submission to the consultation, which closed last week, ILA addressed the best ways to talk constructively about the subject of healthy aging, and proposed ideas about how to foster good science and achieve results quickly.

For example, we stated that it is important to focus on concrete benefits, such as postponing horrible ageing-related diseases such as stroke, heart attacks, cancer blindness and dementia, and it is best to avoid issues that risk sounding like science fiction, such as ‘immortality’ and dangers of overpopulation linked to it.

Economic benefits and a moral obligation were among our other arguments.

As priorities for action we listed supporting biomedical research and development in longevity and ageing at the level of pre-clinical studies, support for clinical trials of potentially healthy life-extending interventions, and creating a program for introducing life-extending interventions into clinical practice.

We said there should be a move away from merely disease-specific approaches to health, towards comprehensive biomedical solutions to improved healthy longevity.

The UK should capitalize on its already highly effective biomedical research community so as to achieve these goals, ILA said.

IMAGE: The inaugural meeting of the new APPG on longevity