About this Research Topic
As our global population ages, growing importance surrounds the understanding of factors promoting and hindering healthy aging. Given the influence of social determinants on health, efforts are needed to identify biological, interpersonal, environmental, and political influences on health among older adults. Among the most telling concepts impacting health outcomes is socio-economic status, given its vast contributions to health-related behaviors and healthcare access and utilization. This Research Topic will advance our understanding about the interconnected influence of socio-economic status and aging from diverse perspectives. Poor ageing starts in childhood: for this reason, we devote some space to the life-long perspective and early determinants of poor ageing related to inequalities. Recently several biological mechanisms linking socio-economic status, risk factors, behaviors and unhealthy ageing have been elucidated, e.g. epigenetic mechanisms and the role of inflammation and immunity. Also, while the WHO and United Nations put much emphasis on behavioral factors, occupational exposures in a rapidly evolving economic landscape should be constantly monitored, such as neglected components of lifestyle such as sleep. Also access to care is a powerful determinant of the social inequalities impact on ageing, and we propose some complementary perspectives, addressing the importance of health care technology assessment and costs, particularly in the last years of life.
Overall, this issue will provide an updated tool to address the most complex topics associated with aging in a world where social inequalities are still largely prevalent.
Keywords: healthy aging, population, social determinants, older adults, healthcare
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