Research from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University
With the population of the world increasing rapidly, the number of people aged 60 years and older is expected to nearly triple by 2050. The majority of these elderly people will be living in the developing world, where the burden of disease is greater. In a special article published in Nutrition Reviews, researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts University explore how undernutrition and immune decline contribute to infectious disease among elderly people in less-developed countries, and make suggestions for future research and intervention strategies.
"While elderly persons in industrialized nations have been striving toward, and largely attaining a state of successful aging, the newly emerging population of elderly persons in less-developed countries are quite far from this goal," says Simin Nikbin Meydani, DVM, PhD, director of the Nutritional Immunology Laboratory at the HNRCA."Because nutritional intervention strategies have been shown to be cost-effective among children in less-developed countries, the potential that a similar strategy could be used to decrease the burden of disease among the rapidly growing population of elderly is intriguing," write Meydani and her co-authors Ahou Meydani and Tanvir Ahmed.
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