Healthy Aging ScienceServ

image from Diabetes Care at Creative Commons

This ScienceServ explores the science on environmental contributors to diseases and disabilities that most often occur later in life as well as environmental factors that promote healthy aging. Research indicates early life exposures can increase the risk of later life diseases. This means that "healthy aging" is really about health across the lifespan.

In the next few decades the number of Americans over 65 will nearly double, and they will likely face increased diseases and disabilities unless we prioritize disease prevention. Environmental factors that affect health include the global, built, food, chemical, psychosocial and socioeconomic environments. Interventions that address the environmental origins of many diseases can be designed to foster health and also benefit ecosystems. The scientific report Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging describes how modifiable environmental factors are key drivers in today's chronic diseases and how these diseases are being driven by dramatic changes over the past century in the food, built, and chemical environments among others.

This ScienceServ builds on the seminal work instigated by the Healthy Aging publication and continues to develop a set of "ecological" or "systems" approaches to healthy aging. We have created multiple educational materials that can be downloaded, including our newest A Story of Health eBook that examines environmental influences in a range of diseases and conditions across the lifespan. Through a multidisciplinary approach to healthy living, our overarching goal is to educate, inspire and help integrate environmental health principles into mainstream health care and society as a basic approach to promote lifelong health and well being.

You can follow this ScienceServ on twitter at @hlthyagingCHE.

The ScienceServ is co-coordinated by Maria Valenti, who serves as the national coordinator of CHE's Healthy Aging and the Environment Initiative, and by Ted Schettler, MD, MPH, Science Director of the Science and Environmental Health Network and Science Advisor for CHE.

CHE does not take a stance on specific legislation nor sign petitions and the like. Rather, we investigate and discuss the scientific foundation for more health-protective policies in a civil tone. For posting guidelines and etiquette, please see our CHEtiquette.


To join this ScienceServ, please join as a CHE Partner and check the CHE Healthy Aging option. Current CHE Partners can send an Contact to Contact.

CHE Partners subscribed to the CHE Healthy Aging ScienceServ can access the listserv archive to view messages previously distributed. Current subscribers can send a message to this group at this address: Contact.

CHE’s Work on Healthy Aging

Consensus Statements

Consensus Statement: Parkinson’s Disease and the Environment: Collaborative on Health and the Environment and Parkinson’s Action Network (CHE PAN) Conference 26–28 June 2007. This statement was developed by the CHE Parkinson's Disease Working Group—which has since become the CHE Healthy Aging ScienceServ—and Parkinson's Action Network—which has transitioned to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research (MJFF).