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What's the Difference Between Healthspan and Lifespan?

What's the Difference Between Healthspan and Lifespan?

Acorn Biolabs team author
Acorn Biolabs

Living longer isn’t the same as living healthier longer. We can all agree that there is a point at which life starts and a point where it ends. Because of this, we all try to make the most of the time in the middle, a period that we call lifespan.

In the last 100 years, we’ve seen the most significant increase in lifespan in history. The average age of death jumped almost 30 years between the years 1900 and 2010. Changing from an average lifespan of 47.3 years old to 78.7 years old. The change is attributed to the development of sanitary and hygienic practices as well as advances in modern medicine.

Living longer leads us to new challenges that come with aging populations.

While generations ago we may have lived shorter lives, we also didn’t have to deal with the onset of the aging process and its effects on our bodies. Such a rapid increase in lifespan has made it hard for our healthspan to keep up.

For most being healthy means not just the absence of disease but all around wellness. Meaning that our healthspan starts to decline early on. If that ache or pain that won’t go away impedes your regular activities then you may not be completely “healthy”. The period of time in our life that we are actually “healthy” can be measured by an endpoint and a starting point much the way we measure lifespan – but at Acorn, we like to call that period of time healthspan. Because the reality is, it’s more important to have a healthy and long lifespan than to just have a long lifespan. At what age were you last free from aches and pains or at least certain that you would fully recover from them? Or when do your everyday aches and pains start to take hold and make you “unhealthy”. Thus shortening your healthspan.

Lifespan and our cells

We can’t cure every pain associated with age. But many of the chronic illnesses that limit our lifespan are correlated with poorly functioning cells. Poorly functioning cells in turn are normally associated with age. What if these cells were able to function better than what your age dictated. Thereby increasing or extending your healthspan. At that point living longer isn’t the point, but living healthier is.

This may be a possibility soon. At Acorn we believe that in the pursuit of a longer life we need not only end mortality but also disease.

A promising part of ongoing research in medicine and biotechnology has been the innovation of young stem cells’ ability to treat, and actually repair other cells.

In fact, science is finding new ways to rejuvenate inflamed and chronically pained tissues. To grow organs. Even to end disease – simply by introducing younger cells to the human body.

In other words, medicine is quickly advancing to using our own cells as a resource in medicine. Moreover, cells may be a resource in improving healthspan.

Acorn hopes to provide you with the tools to access exciting possibilities like this for you and your loved ones. By storing your younger cells you may be able to use them when you get older. Extending your healthspan through emerging regenerative medicine, cell and gene therapy. Healthspan unlocks longevity in a way that can create more meaningful years with loved ones.