Sept. 15: Kaare Christensen's Brown Bag "The Aging Society: Are we doing well? Are we doing good?"

Please join us for this Brown Bag talk by Kaare Christensen: “The Aging Society: Are we doing well? Are we doing good?”

Please RSVP to cmh2197@columbia.edu if you wish to attend this talk by Dr. Christensen on Thursday, September 15th at 11:00 a.m. in ARB 532B, 722 West 168th Street.

Dr. Christensen will speak about the rapidly increasing proportion of individuals in the Western world who are surviving into their tenth decade. While there is no doubt that we are doing well in making the elderly survive better than previously, the key question is whether we are also doing good for the oldest-old.  There is widespread concern that the basis for the survival success is better survival of frail and disabled elderly into the highest ages, the so-called “Failure of Success Hypothesis”.  An alternative hypothesis is that we are experiencing a “Success of Success”, i.e., an increasing proportion of the population is living to the highest ages in better health than previous generations. The planning of and policy development for the future care of the oldest-old will be highly dependent on whether one or both genders are experiencing the “Failure of Success” or the “Success of Success” as they reach the highest ages. This scientific knowledge is of fundamental importance for the sustainability of modern societies. To investigate this issue, we have collected data on aging trajectories for Danish twins born since 1900 as well as the entire Danish birth cohorts 1895, 1905 and 1915.

Kaare Christensen, MD, PhD, DMSc

Professor of Epidemiology, Institute of Public Health, University of Southern Denmark, and Senior Research Scientist at the Terry Sanford Institute, Duke University, North Carolina, USA. Christensen is the Director of the Danish Twin Registry and the Danish Aging Research Centre and he has conducted a long series of studies among twins and the oldest-old in order to shed light on the importance of genes and environment in aging and longevity. He is engaged in interdisciplinary aging research combining methods from epidemiology, genetics, medicine and demography.