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The emergence of ageing phenotypes and multisystem decline 

The emergence of ageing phenotypes and multisystem decline
The emergence of ageing phenotypes and multisystem decline
Oxford Textbook of Geriatric Medicine (3 edn)

Elisa Fabbri

, Marco Zoli

, and Luigi Ferrucci


Ageing is characterized by multisystem morphological and physiological changes, which occur very heterogeneously across different individuals. The resulting phenotype is so dynamic and complex that its comprehensive description is still a critical area of research in gerontology. The progressive multisystem instability and deterioration that characterize ageing are, however, very heterogeneous among different individuals. Many researchers believe that such instability is the result of stochastic accumulation of damage and loss of function rather than the consequence of precisely controlled and genetically programmed processes. In approaching such complexity, we have proposed that the phenotypes of ageing can be clustered in discrete interactive domains, whose impairments can serve as proxy measures of the rate of ageing, since they strongly relate to loss of resilience, development of multimorbidity, and occurrence of geriatric syndromes in older adults.

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