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We are an ageing population, with current demographic trends indicating that 1 in 5 adults in the UK will be aged over 65 by the year 2020.

Whilst this is a cause for celebration, there is also evidence that healthspan (the time spent in good health) is not keeping pace with the increases in average lifespan, with significant consequences for quality of life in old age and for health and social services provision. Thus medical advances have ensured that a greater proportion of the population make it through to the third age of man, but they have made less impact upon the quality of life in old age.

Age is the most important risk factor for many disabling human diseases and on average men will still be unwell for the last 6 years of their lives and women for the last 11 years.

Professor Janet Lord discusses her work into the Stem Cells and Ageing initiative...