"Human diversity reaches its apex in old age, but health care doesn’t reflect that dividing the life span for studies into just childhood and adulthood. In the 21st century, when the number of older adults will surpass the number of children worldwide, we need to similarly target oldhood. . The sad fact is that we frequently don’t know how to best care for the old. Treatments rarely target older adults’ particular physiology, and the old are typically excluded from clinical studies. Sometimes they are kept out based on age alone, but more often it’s because they have one of the diseases that typically accompany old age. And yet we still end up basing older people’s treatment on this research, because too often it is all we have.The National Institutes of Health should require that older adults be included in clinical studies, just as it already does for women and minorities."
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