• Toshio HayashiEmail author


Average life expectancy becomes longer all over the world. Japan is one of the fastest aging nations in the world. With the addition of the low birthrate, the population aging rate (ratio of population 65 years or older) is 23 % and late elderly aged 75 years or older comprise over 10 % of the population. The other character in Japan is the small number of people with independent activities of daily living (ADL). Medical and care expenses for elderly are continuously increasing and the government and general population are interested in gerontology, geriatric care, and sometimes antiaging. Gerontology divides aging into (1) physiological aging, (2) pathological aging/geriatric syndrome, and (3) geriatric disease.
  1. 1.

    Physiological aging is universal, intrinsic, and progressive. It is an inevitable, preprogramed progression and fundamentally difficult to treat, recover from, or prevent. Many longevity genes have been discovered, from those in nematodes to those in mice. Remarkable results have been achieved in the development of longevity in living organisms using molecular biological techniques and disease research from a cellular aging level.

  2. 2.

    Pathological aging occurs in the elderly and has almost the same definition as geriatric syndrome. It has various causes and nursing care is required during treatment. In Western countries, it is called the “Geriatric Giant” due to this care requirement.

  3. 3.

    Geriatric diseases reduce life span and declined functional residual capacity in the elderly. Cerebrovascular attack (CVA) and ischemic heart disease (IHD) both fall into this category. Cellular aging, the basic subunit of physiological aging, undergoes dynamic changes in pathological conditions and may be an important onset factor for geriatric disease. We discuss the effects of aging on cardiovascular disease from these viewpoints.


Aging is one of independent cardiovascular risks. Recent advances in research are revealing the detailed mechanisms of the effect of aging in the human cardiovascular disease. Some effects of aging are different on people and we are also able to regulate the effects partially. Dividing the status of patients into physiological aging, pathological aging = geriatric syndrome, and disease may help the approach described as above.


Late elderly Physiological aging Geriatric syndrome Geriatric disease Cellular aging 


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© Springer-Verlag Wien 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeriatricsNagoya University Graduate School of MedicineNagoyaJapan

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