The research, published in the November 2012 issue of Pensions, addresses the increasing disparity between the outlay of the United States' Social Security program and the increases in longevity resulting from advances in healthcare and biomedical sciences. The paper was an international collaboration between the BGRF, the Healthy Life Extension Society and the Institute for the Biology of Aging, led by BGRF researcher Alexander Zhavoronkov, PhD.
Zhavoronkov and his colleagues simulated three future mortality scenarios: a simple extrapolation of past improvements in hygiene and healthcare, a reduction in the mortality rate by 50 per cent between 2013 and 2030, and a mortality reduction of 80 per cent over that same period (as might be expected from drugs which slow the aging process). Based on these scenarios, the authors predict the total unfunded liability of Social Security and Medicare programs will increase from $3.4trillion to between $18.1trillion and $87.5trillion by 2030.
The authors stress that previous studies in this area do not consider advances in biomedicine that would cause mortality rates to fall, and warn that inaction is not an option in the face of a pending pensions crisis if governments wish to turn increases in longevity from an economic burden to a source of economic growth.
The full paper can be read at http://www.palgrave-
 Zhavoronkov, A., Debonneuil, E., Mirza, N. and Artyhov, I. (2013) Evaluating the impact of recent advances in biomedical sciences and the possible mortality decreases on the future of health care and Social Security in the United States. Pensions 17, 241–251. doi:10.1057/
Notes to Editors
About the Biogerontology Research Foundation
The Biogerontology Research Foundation seeks to fill a gap within the research community, whereby the current scientific understanding of the aging process is not yet being sufficiently exploited to produce effective medical interventions. The BGRF will fund research which, building on the body of knowledge about how aging happens, will develop biotechnological interventions to remediate the molecular and cellular deficits which accumulate with age and which underlie the ill-health of old age.
Addressing aging damage at this most fundamental level will provide an important opportunity to produce the effective, lasting treatments for the diseases and disabilities of aging, which are required to improve quality of life in the elderly. The BGRF seeks to use the entire scope of modern biotechnology to attack the changes that take place in the course of aging, and to address not just the symptoms of age-related diseases but also the mechanisms of those diseases.
VP Strategy, Biogerontology Research Foundation