The study found that people believe that aging begins later than it used to

People's perception of when “aging” begins has changed over time.


A new study shows that our perception of what constitutes old has increased over time.

Researchers found that middle-aged and older adults in Germany believe that aging begins later in life than earlier people.

They analyzed data from 14,056 participants in the German Aging Survey, which includes people born between 1911 and 1974.

Study participants were surveyed up to eight times over the course of 25 years and asked “at what age would you describe someone as old.”

They were assessed in 1996 and then re-questioned over time as new participants subsequently entered the survey.

“That's why we can, for example, check whether someone who was 40 in 2008 believes that aging starts later than someone who was 40 years old in 2008,” Markus Wettstein, one of the study's authors from Humboldt University in Berlin, told Euronews Health. Age 40 in 1996. .

For example, the researchers found that at age 65, participants born in 1911 believed that aging begins at 71, while participants born in 1956 said aging begins at 74.

But the trend of people believing aging starts later has slowed in recent years, with researchers saying it may not continue into the future.

Their findings were published in the journal Psychology and aging.

Someone's age plays a role in their perception of them

The researchers found that as people get older, their awareness of when aging begins increases.

“For example, for a 64-year-old, the estimated onset of aging was 74.7 years, while for a 74-year-old, the estimated onset of aging was 76.8 years,” the researchers wrote in the study. the study.

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“Life expectancy has increased, which may contribute to later onset of aging,” Wettstein said in a statement.

“Also, some aspects of health have improved over time, so people of a certain age who were considered old in the past may not be considered old today.”

Women also see aging begin two years later on average than men.

There were several limitations to the study including the inability to generalize the results to other countries due to cultural differences in how people perceive age.

However, the researchers noted that this trend still exists when taking into account “socio-demographic, psychosocial and health factors.”

The researchers concluded that more research is needed to understand why there is a perception of aging that begins later and its implications for “health and well-being in later life.”

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