If you could take a pill to slow aging, would you?

Phases of human life via iStockphoto.com

“While the anti-aging ‘cures’ being marketed these days are largely snake oil, in the laboratory scientists have managed to extend the lives of laboratory animals. And they have a better understanding of the mechanisms of biological aging,” writes NPR’s Ina Jaffe.

That’s good news if you’re a lab rat, but at present there are no treatments that delay aging in people. The study published today in Health Affairs offers statistical evidence that delaying aging in people would extend life expectancy even more than would a decline in cancer or heart disease.

“In some ways we’ve become the victims of our own success,” says Dana Goldman, director of the Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at the University of Southern California and one of the authors of the study. “We’ve made a lot of progress delaying heart disease… and we’ve made progress in delaying cancer too. What that means is [further] progress in those areas is in some ways harder to get.”

Today’s Question: If you could take a pill to slow aging, would you?