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Age-related physiologic declines 

Age-related physiologic declines
Chapter:
Age-related physiologic declines
Author(s):

Elisa Fabbri

, Marco Zoli

, and Luigi Ferrucci

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198701590.003.0041
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date: 18 October 2019

‘How and why living organisms age?’ This question has puzzled and challenged philosophers and scientists for centuries. Ageing can be defined as a progressive loss of anatomic and physiological integrity across multiple systems and organs, leading to impaired function and higher vulnerability to adverse health outcomes and death. Although the biological mechanisms that trigger and accelerate ageing are still not understood, enormous steps forward in delineating the effects of ageing has been made in recent years. Ageing induces morphological and physiological changes across multiple organs and systems, which result in progressive loss of resilience, increased vulnerability to stressors, disease susceptibility, and development of physical and cognitive frailty, disability, and adverse outcomes.

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