As our population rapidly grows older, it is ever more urgent that we find effective ways to address the often devastating diseases and conditions associated with advanced age. Since the NIA’s founding in 1974, groundwork has been laid for today’s important advances in understanding basic aging, preventing disease and disability, including AD, and defining special social and behavioral issues for older individuals, their families and caregivers, and clinicians. The latest studies provide additional basic understandings as well as improved interventions to treat and even prevent some of the more devastating and disabling aspects of aging. With such research continued and intensified, we can move forward in meeting the promise of extended life by improving the health and well being of all older people in America with determination and attention to the concerns of racial and ethnic health disparity populations.
Strategic planning is one way for the NIA to take advantage of key scientific opportunities across all components of its structure and bring its resources to the challenge of reducing and ultimately eliminating health disparities. The content of this plan is a component of the NIA strategic document, Living Long &Well in the 21st Century: Strategic Directions for Research on Aging . The online version includes hyperlinks to information about NIA programs and initiatives associated with the various priority areas described in this document.
The NIA is working with other NIH Institutes and Centers to develop an overall strategy that, in total, will address the diseases and conditions that challenge older racial and ethnic health disparity populations. This plan does not address all health disparities but rather is a plan to address health disparities within the context of the congressionally mandated mission of the NIA.