Will We Soon Be Taking a Pill to Slow Aging?

A leading researcher says the longevity dividend could become reality.

In 2006, S. Jay Olshansky, a leading researcher on aging, and his colleagues coined the term “the longevity dividend.” It describes the health and economic benefits individuals and societies could enjoy by slowing biological aging and extending people’s years of healthy living. The term was new, but the concept had been around for decades. In a recent interview, Olshansky said “science has finally caught up with the idea.”

The University of Illinois at Chicago sociologist and professor, a Next Avenue Influencer in Aging in 2016, says biotech companies are on the verge of a breakthrough in developing interventions that will slow the body’s process of aging, thereby making the body more resistant to disease.

Olshansky is a research associate at the University of Chicago’s Center on Aging and at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He is also a co-founder and chief scientist of Lapetus Solutions Inc. in Wilmington, N.C.

He says it’s an exciting time within the field and in the work toward extending human “healthspan,” meaning our number of healthy years of life. Olshansky and his colleagues have been urging researchers to shift their focus from lifespan to healthspan. This also means compressing what they call “the red zone,” the time period toward the end of life in which a person is frail and sick.

In the following Q&A, Olshansky discusses aging interventions we could see in the near future.

Read the full interview here.