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People are living longer. The average life expectancy at birth in colonial Virginia was under 25 years. At the beginning of the 20th century, life expectancy in the United States was still only 47.3 years. However, life expectancy has since increased dramatically, to 70.8 years in 1970 and 76.9 years in 2000. Today there are over 70,000 centenarians, and the U.S. Census Bureau expects this to increase to about 800,000 by 2050. Progress in lengthening lifespan is thought to have resulted from medical and public health efforts, rising standards of living, better education, improved nutrition, and more salubrious lifestyles.

The mission of the International Society on Aging and Disease (ISOAD) is to advance discovery into the relationship between aging and diseases of all kinds…