The Media and Anti-Aging Medicine: Witch-Hunt, Uncritical Reporting or Fourth Estate?

Abstract

In this paper, which brings together aging research and media research, we will contribute to the mapping of the complicated cartography of anti-aging by analyzing the press coverage of anti-aging medicine. The mass media decisively shape societal impacts of the expert scientific discourse on anti-aging. While sensitivity towards the heterogeneity of the field of anti-aging is increasing to some degree in the social-gerontological discussion, the role of the media in transmitting the various anti-aging messages to the general public has so far not been systematically scrutinized. Current opinions on the press coverage of anti-aging medicine range from proponents’ complaints of a media witch-hunt against them to opponents’ reproaches about uncritical reporting of this complex topic. This paper discusses whether the media act accordingly to the ideal of the fourth estate, controlling the increased power of science in the 20th century. Our areas of investigation are two Western countries: the USA and Germany. Both countries have experienced an apparent increase in the average age of their populations, which has led to increasingly vigorous public debate since the late 20th century. The subjects of our study are three organizations that represent different approaches to anti-aging medicine: the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, the German Society of Anti-Aging Medicine, and the Methuselah Foundation. The article discusses the programs, goals, and media strategies of these organizations and compares them with the anti-aging messages that actually make their way to the reader in the media “interdiscourse.” The article asks whether transatlantic learning processes within the anti-aging medicine movement as well as in the media can be identified. The paper’s methods and sources are those of contemporary history and ethnography. The three approaches to anti-aging medicine are drawn from publications of spokespersons from the three presented anti-aging medicine organizations and from participant observation of anti-aging medicine conferences in Germany and Europe during the period from 2005 to 2008. The media analysis is based on the study of about 300 articles that appeared between 1990 and 2009 in US and German dailies and weeklies such as Newsweek, The New York Times, Der Spiegel, and Die Welt. Our analysis shows that, against the backdrop of pessimistic demographic apprehensions, the leitmotiv of both nations’ medical journalism between 1990 and 2009 was overwhelmingly pro anti-aging medicine. It is criticized that medical journalism on anti-aging medicine refrains from own investigations on potential risks. Scrutinizing activities of the media in terms of a fourth estate require stimulation from science itself. Hence, we argue for sensitization of medical journalism regarding ageism.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Notes

  1. 1.

    Apart from the themed issue at hand see, e.g., the themed issue of the Journal of Aging Studies, volume 22, issue 2 (Vincent et al. 2009).

  2. 2.

    Cf. the article by Petersen and Seear in this issue.

  3. 3.

    The definition and usage of the term “popularization” are currently the subject of discussion in research on science journalism (Schirmacher 2008). In our analysis, we understand “popularizing” as rendering the very detailed, specific, and often jargon-laden information produced by scientists into a generally understandable and entertaining form that is accessible for the average media consumer.

  4. 4.

    A second, methodological reason for choosing these periodicals was that these newspapers and magazines offer access to their online archives, allowing full-text searches for terms crucial to our analysis. On several aspects of the topic anti-aging medicine we included The Washington Post, USA Today, Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ), Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), and Stern in the analysis.

  5. 5.

    See http://www.worldhealth.net/. Accessed 10 September 2009.

  6. 6.

    See http://www.worldhealth.net/pages/about. Accessed 10 September (2009). This is 0.38% of the 4,460,000 health diagnosing and treating practitioners in the USA in 2006 (source: National Employment Matrix, Bureau of Labor Statistics).

  7. 7.

    For other articles on the “benefits” of hormone therapy, sometimes combined with warnings against current risks, see Dorfman (1990), Beck (1993), and Brody (1997).

  8. 8.

    Other printed media mentioned A4M and its founders only rarely and as one of many facets of the trend towards anti-aging methods (cf. Samuelson 2003).

  9. 9.

    See Siwolop (2001), Kolata (2002), and Wilson (2007).

  10. 10.

    See Brock (2002), Kolata (2002), and Wilson (2007).

  11. 11.

    See Wilson (2007); cf. Ruibal (2007).

  12. 12.

    Members of the “war on anti-aging” can be found on the website: http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=authors-and-endorsers. Accessed 10 September 2009. Cf. Perls (2004).

  13. 13.

    Cf. for the successful boundary work against A4M: The New York Times: Siwolop (2001) (quoted experts who criticized A4M and the inaccurate use of hormone replacement were, among others, Christopher B. Heward and Huber R. Warner); Brock (2002) (S. Jay Olshansky, S. Mitchell Harman, and Thomas T. Perls); Kolata (2002) (Harman and Warner); Time Magazine: Kluger, Time, 21 January 2002 (Butler, Leonard Hayflick); The San Francisco Chronicle: Davidson (2001); (Hayflick, Thomas E. Johnson, Olshansky, and Bruce A. Carnes); Torassa (2002) (Harman).

  14. 14.

    The New York Times: Pollack (2003) (quoted expert: Michael D. West); DeSimone (2006) (Robert N. Butler); Reynolds (2006) (Perls); Mason (2006) (Olshansky); Wilson (2007) (L. Stephen Coles); Wade (2008) (Warner); Time Magazine: Corliss et al. (2004) (Perls); Weil (2005) (Andrew Weil); Ettleman (2006) (Olshansky); Newsweek: Underwood (2008) (Perls); The San Francisco Chronicle: Tumiel (2003) (Jan Vijg, Eric T. Juengst); Russell (2003) (Olshansky).

  15. 15.

    Reciprocally, the US press coverage hardly ever took a look across the Atlantic, if at all then only to project its own dim demographic prospects: Germany was presented as the first society in human history with more elderly people than children. A “new breed of centenarians” in Europe would cause serious intergenerational conflict. Analyzers from Germany were cited accusing the elderly of producing a timid and angst-ridden society (Landler 2004; Doyle 2004). The transatlantic observation served as an argument to press ahead with anti-aging medicine in the USA.

  16. 16.

    Cf. for the relevance of metaphors in science journalism: Christidou et al. (2004).

  17. 17.

    Among the cited researchers were Michael Fossel, Leonard Hayflick, Jay Olshansky. Thomas Perls, Michael Rose, Jerry Shay, David Sinclair, Richard Weindruch, Woodring Wright, and Roy Walford.

  18. 18.

    Der Spiegel (1990), Wagner (1997), Borgeest (1991), von Lutterotti, FAZ, 8 February (2006), Bartholomäus et al. (2007).

  19. 19.

    See Mayer-Wolk (2002) and Bartens (2008).

  20. 20.

    See Traufetter (2001), Miketta (2001), Mayer-Wolk (2002), Goy (2002), Blech (2003: 117), Hoppe (2004: 104), Blawat (2006), and Bartens (2008).

  21. 21.

    In German, named more cautiously Deutsche Gesellschaft für Prävention und Anti-Aging-Medizin, see http://www.gsaam.de. Accessed 29 January 2009.

  22. 22.

    See http://www.di-uni.de/1465.html. Accessed 10 September 2009.

  23. 23.

    See: http://www.gsaam.de/Allgemeines%20zur%20AAM/karte.php. Accessed 10 September 2009.

  24. 24.

    See http://www.praeventionstag.com/. Accessed 10 September 2009.

  25. 25.

    See Bördlein (2000), Bartholomäus et al. (2007), and Eberle (2008).

  26. 26.

    See http://www.methuselahfoundation.org/. Accessed 10 September 2009.

  27. 27.

    See http://www.sens.org/. Accessed 10 September 2009.

  28. 28.

    The “seven deadly things” are cell loss and cell atrophy, junk outside cells, cross-links outside cells, death-resistant cells, mitochondrial mutations, junk inside cells, and nuclear [epi]mutations (de Grey and Rea 2007: 43).

  29. 29.

    E.g. the “SENS Challenge”, a US $20,000 prize announced in 2005 by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s magazine Technology Review and cofunded by the Methuselah Foundation for molecular biologists to demonstrate if de Grey’s proposals were science or fantasy (Pontin 2006).

  30. 30.

    One of the rather few examples for concerns on the abolition of death is Gibbs (2006).

  31. 31.

    See Muggenthaler (2004) and Wegner (2005).

  32. 32.

    See Müller-Jung (2004), Bredow (2005), and Schulte von Drach (2007).

Abbreviations

A4M:

American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine

DHEA:

Dehydroepiandrosterone

FAZ:

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

GSAAM:

German Society of Anti-Aging Medicine (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Prävention und Anti-Aging-Medizin)

HGH:

Human growth hormone

NW:

Newsweek

NYT:

The New York Times

SENS:

Aubrey de Grey’s research program “Strategies for Engineering Negligible Senesence”

SFC:

The San Francisco Chronicle

SZ:

Süddeutsche Zeitung

References

  1. A4M (American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine). 2002a. Official position statement on the truth about human aging. http://www.worldhealth.net/pages/official_position_statement_on_the_truth. Accessed 19 January 2009.

  2. A4M (American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine). 2008. Introduction to anti-aging medicine. http://www.worldhealth.net/pages/what_is_anti-aging_medicine. Accessed 12 November 2008.

  3. Ackermann, Tim. 2009. Schon die Antike kannte den Jugendwahn, Welt Online, 10 March. http://www.welt.de/kultur/article3349306/Schon-die-Antike-kannte-den-Jugendwahn.html. Accessed 6 April 2009.

  4. Bartens, Werner. 2008. Tristesse ohne Entrinnen. SZ, 4 February. http://www.sueddeutsche.de/wissen/50/431800/text/. Accessed 6 April 2009.

  5. Bartholomäus, Ulrike, Martin Kunz, and Silvia Sanides. 2007. Weniger essen, länger leben?, Focus, 6 August. http://www.focus.de/gesundheit/gesundleben/antiaging/lifestyle/medizin-weniger-essen-laenger-leben_aid_223986.html. Accessed 7 April 2009.

  6. Beck, Melinda. 1993. The gray nineties, NW, 4 October, 65–66.

  7. Berger, Andre. 2008. True lies about anti-aging and growth hormone, 4 January. http://www.rejuvalife.md/blog/post/1/811. Accessed 20 April 2009.

  8. Binstock, Robert H. 2003. The war on ‘anti-aging medicine’. The Gerontologist 43: 4–14.

    Google Scholar 

  9. Blawat, Katrin. 2006. Hormone statt Hanteln, SZ, 8 November. http://www.sueddeutsche.de/gesundheit/792/379597/text/. Accessed 6 April 2009.

  10. Blech, Jörg. 2003. Neue Leiden alter Männer. Der Spiegel, 14 April, 116–120.

    Google Scholar 

  11. Bördlein, Ingeborg. 2000. Tipp für ein gesundes Altern, Welt-Online, 11 December. http://www.welt.de/print-welt/article552391/Tipp_fuer_ein_gesundes_Altern_viel_bewegen_wenig_essen.html. Accessed 6 April 2009.

  12. Borgeest, Bernhard. 1991. Drehen an der Uhr des Lebens, DIE ZEIT, 25 January. http://www.zeit.de/1991/05/Drehen-an-der-Uhr-des-Lebens. Accessed 7 April 2009.

  13. Bredow, Rafaela von. 2005. Die Abschaffung des Sterbens, Der Spiegel, 25 July, 110–113.

  14. Brock, Fred. 2002. To stop aging, first stop fighting, NYT, 1 December. http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/01/business/seniority-to-stop-aging-first-stop-fighting.html?scp=1&sq=%22To+Stop+Aging%2C+First+Stop+Fighting%22&st=nyt. Accessed 9 April 2009.

  15. Brody, Jane E. 1997. Explorer of aging process is lighting candles in the dark, NYT, 20 May 20. http://www.nytimes.com/1997/05/20/science/explorer-of-aging-process-is-lighting-candles-in-the-dark.html?scp=1&sq=%22Explorer%20of%20Aging%20Process%20is%20Lighting%20Candles%20in%20the%20Dark%22&st=cse. Accessed 9 April 2009.

  16. Christidou, Vasilia, Kostas Dimopoulos, and Vasilis Koulaidis. 2004. Constructing social representations of science and technology: The role of metaphors in the press and the popular scientific magazines. Public Understanding of Science 13: 347–362.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Conrad, Christoph. 1992. Old age in the modern and postmodern Western world. In Handbook of the humanities and aging, ed. Thomas R. Cole, David D. Van Tassel, and Robert Kastenbaum, 72–97. New York: Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  18. Corliss, Richard et al. 2004. How to live to be 100, Time, 30 August. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,994967,00.html. Accessed 9 April 2009.

  19. Davidson, Keay. 2001. Biologists seeking longevity in a pill, SFC, 19 February. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2001/02/19/MN157804.DTL&hw=Biologists+seeking+longevity+in+pill&sn=001&sc=1000. Accessed 9 April 2009.

  20. Davidson, Keay. 2006. Entrepreneur backs research on anti-aging, SFC, 18 September. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/09/18/BAGF5L7LQS1.DTL&hw=Aubrey+de+&sn=001&sc=1000. Accessed 9 April 2009.

  21. de Grey, Aubrey. 2003. An engineer’s approach to the development of real anti-aging medicine. Science of aging knowledge environment, 1, vp1, www.methuselahfoundation.org/files/sens/manu16.pdf. Accessed 20 April 2009.

  22. de Grey, Aubrey. 2005. Like it or not, life-extension research extends beyond biogerontology. EMBO Reports 6: 1000.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. de Grey, Aubrey, and Michael Rea. 2007. Ending aging—the rejuvenation breakthroughs that could reverse human aging in our lifetime. New York: St. Martin’s.

    Google Scholar 

  24. Demmer, Christine. 2006. Besser als Bohren. SZ: Präventivmediziner sorgen sich um gesunde Zwanzigjährige. 20 June 2006.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Der Spiegel. 1990. Dicke Haut, 16 July 1990, 158–161.

  26. Der Spiegel. 1995a. Zweifel am Liebeswerk, 19 June 1995, 171–172.

  27. Der Spiegel. 1995b. Fröhlich mit neunzig, 21 August 1995, 153–156.

  28. Der Spiegel. 1995c. Fragwürdige Wohltat, 3 July 1995, 186–187.

  29. Der Spiegel. 1996a. Faustischer Pakt, 22 January 1996, 140–199.

  30. Der Spiegel. 1996b. Jeden Tag Gurken, 18 March 1996, 199–204.

  31. Der Spiegel. 1996c. Doping im Altersheim, 15 April 1996, 210–211.

  32. Der Spiegel. 1997. Bis zur letzten Patrone, 20 January 1997, 186–187.

  33. Der Spiegel. 1999a. “Eine Art von Doping”, 20 September 1999, 178–179.

  34. Der Spiegel. 1999b. Wohltat oder Risiko?, 20 September 1999, 188–190.

  35. DeSimone, Bonnie. 2006. Growth hormone: The secret of youth or a cautionary tale? NYT, 11 April. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/11/business/retirement/11hgh.html?scp=1&sq=%22Growth%20Hormone:%20The%20Secret%20of%20Youth%20or%20a%20Cautionary%20Tale%22&st=cse. Accessed 9 April 2009.

  36. Dirks, Una, and Gabriele Kohlmeyer. 2005. Pressekommentare zur größten Friedensdemonstration vor dem Irakkrieg (2003) aus transkultureller Perspektive—Eine Dokumentarische Gattungsanalyse. In Mediendiskurse. Bestandsaufnahme und Perspektiven, ed. Claudia Fraas, and Michael Klemm, 286–308. Frankfurt/M.: Lang.

    Google Scholar 

  37. Dobel, Sabine. 2000. Age-Scan, Spiegel-Online, 19 July. http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/mensch/0,1518,86017,00.html. Accessed 4 April 2009.

  38. Dorfman, Andrea. 1990. Getting a shot of youth, Time, 16 July. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,970642,00.html. Accessed 9 April 2009.

  39. Doyle, Jim. 2004. The burden or immortality, SFC, 25 April. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2004/04/25/INGA168A4H1.DTL&hw=burden+of+immortality&sn=001&sc=1000. Accessed 9 April 2009.

  40. Eberle, Ute. 2008. Die Macht der Hormone, Stern, 10 September. http://www.stern.de/wissenschaft/mensch/:Wechseljahre-Die-Macht-Hormone/635766.html. Accessed 6 April 2009.

  41. Estep, Preston et al. 2006. Life extension pseudoscience and the SENS plan. In Technology Review (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), 11 July. http://www.technologyreview.com/sens/index.aspx (3rd submission to the “SENS Challenge”). Accessed 9 April 2009.

  42. Ettleman, Lee S. 2006. Can a simple quiz tell you how long you’ll live? Time, 1 December. http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1564934,00.html. Accessed 9 April 2009.

  43. Garreau, Joel. 2007. The invincible man, Washington Post, 31 October. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/10/30/AR2007103002222.html. Accessed 31 October 2007.

  44. Gatterburg, Angela. 2000. Ölwechsel für den Körper, Der Spiegel, 24 April, 166–169.

  45. Gibbs, Nancy. 2006. Living to 116, Time, 13 December. http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1569442,00.html. Accessed 9 April 2009.

  46. Goy, Martina. 2002. Der Preis der Entfaltung, Welt-Online, 24 November. http://www.welt.de/print-wams/article102430/Der_Preis_der_Entfaltung.html. Accessed 6 April 2009.

  47. (GPeV) Gesellschaft für Prävention e.V. 2007a. Gesundheitsplanung statt Krankheitsmanagement. GPeV fordert: Drohende Kostenlawine im Gesundheitswesen mit Präventionsmedizin stoppen (press release 25 November). http://www.gpev.de/indexd5e8.html?id=34. Accessed 23 March 2009.

  48. (GPeV) Gesellschaft für Prävention e.V. 2007b. Interview mit Bundesgesundheitsministerin Ulla Schmidt (SPD). Präventionsmedizin—eine Frage von Humanismus (press release 25 November). http://www.gpev.de/indexd5e8.html?id=34 (click “Pressemappe ‘1. Europäischer Präventionstag’”). Accessed 23 March 2009.

  49. Grefe, Christiane. 2003. In alter Frische, DIE ZEIT, 20 March. http://www.zeit.de/2003/13/Anti_Aging. Accessed 9 April 2009.

  50. Haber, Carol. 2004. Life extension and history: The continual search for the fountain of youth. Journal of Gerontology 59A: 515–522.

    Google Scholar 

  51. Hennig, Claudia and Michael Klentze. 2006. Editorial. Prevention and anti-aging for professionals 2: 135.

  52. Hoppe, Ralf. 2004. Aufstand in Gottes Wartezimmer, Der Spiegel, 19 July, 100–104.

  53. Huber, Johannes, and Robert Buchacher. 2007. Das Ende des Alterns. Bahnbrechende medizinische Möglichkeiten der Verjüngung. Berlin: Ullstein.

    Google Scholar 

  54. Hüppauf, Bernd, and Peter Weingart. 2008. Images in and of science. In Science images and popular images of the sciences, ed. Bernd Hüppauf, and Peter Weingart, 3–31. New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  55. Iken, Katja. 2006. Eine Reise durch den Körper, Welt-Online, 3 April. http://www.welt.de/print-welt/article208370/Eine_Reise_durch_den_Koerper.html. Accessed 6 April 2009.

  56. Jarren, Otfried, and Patrick Donges. 2002. Politische Kommunikation in der Mediengesellschaft. Vol. 1: Verständnis. Rahmen und Strukturen, Wiesbaden: Vs Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  57. Katz, Stephen, and Barbara Marshall. 2004. Is the functional ‘normal’? Aging, sexuality and the bio-marking of successful living. History of the Human Sciences 17: 53–75.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  58. Klatz, Ronald, and Robert Goldman. 2007. The official anti-aging revolution—stop the clock. Laguna Beach, CA: Basic Health.

    Google Scholar 

  59. Kleine-Gunk, Bernd. 2005. Anti-Aging am Scheideweg (Editorial). Gynäkologie und Geburtshilfe 3: 3.

    Google Scholar 

  60. Klentze, Michael. 2005. Personalisierte Medizin - von Stereotypien hin zu Individualität durch genetische Polymorphismusdiagnostik. Anti Aging for Professionals 1(1): 16–23.

    Google Scholar 

  61. Kleine-Gunk, Bernd. 2007. Anti-Aging-Medizin—Hoffnung oder Humbug? Deutsches Ärzteblatt 104: A2054–A2060.

    Google Scholar 

  62. Kluger, Jeffrey. 2002. Can we learn to beat the reaper? Time, 21 January. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1001671,00.html. Accessed 9 April 2009.

  63. Kolata, Gina. 1992. New views on life spans alter forecasts on elderly, NYT, 16 November. http://www.nytimes.com/1992/11/16/us/new-views-on-life-spans-alter-forecasts-on-elderly.html?scp=1&sq=%22New%20Views%20on%20Life%20Spans%20Alter%20Forecasts%20on%20Elderly%22&st=cse. Accessed 9 April 2009.

  64. Kolata, Gina. 2002. Chasing youth, many gamble on hormones, NYT, 22 December. http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/22/us/chasing-youth-many-gamble-on-hormones.html?scp=2&sq=%22Chasing%20Youth,%20Many%20Gamble%20On%20Hormones%22&st=cse. Accessed 9 April 2009.

  65. Konerding, Klaus-Peter. 2005. Diskurse, Themen und soziale Topik. In Mediendiskurse: Bestandsaufnahme und Perspektiven, ed. Claudia Fraas, and Michael Klemm, 9–38. Frankfurt/Main: Lang.

    Google Scholar 

  66. Lamb, Gregory M. 2006. ‘Grand challenges’ spur grand results, USA Today, 11 January. http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/discoveries/2006-01-11-grand-challenges_x.htm. Accessed 9 April 2009.

  67. Landler, Mark. 2004. Empty maternity wards imperil a dwindling Germany, NYT, 18 November. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F02E3DA133FF93BA25752C1A9629C8B63&sec=health&spon=&scp=2&sq=“Empty Maternity Wards Imperil a Dwindling Germany”&st=cse. Accessed 10 April 2009.

  68. Latusseck, Rolf. 2001. Hormone für die ewige Jugend, Welt-Online, 28 January. http://www.welt.de/print-wams/article608819/Hormone_fuer_ewige_Jugend.html. Accessed 6 April 2009.

  69. Leßmöllmann, Annette. 2002. Knackig bis zum Tod, DIE ZEIT, 25 April. http://www.zeit.de/2002/18/200218_m-spezial-aging_xml. Accessed 7 April 2009.

  70. Link, Jürgen. 2007. Dispositiv und Interdiskurs: Mit Überlegungen zum “Dreieck” Foucault—Bourdieu—Luhmann. In Foucault in den Kulturwissenschaften: Eine Bestandsaufnahme, ed. Clemens Kammler, and Rolf Parr, 219–238. Heidelberg: Synchron.

    Google Scholar 

  71. Look, Markus and Alexander Römmler. 2008. Anti-Aging-Medizin. http://www.gsaam.de/informationzu/index.php. Accessed 2 February 2009.

  72. Mason, Michael. 2006. One for the ages: A prescription that may extend life, NYT, 31 October. http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/31/health/nutrition/31agin.html?_r=1&8dpc&oref=slogin. Accessed 9 April 2009.

  73. Mayer, Catherine. 2009. 10 ideas changing the world right now. 5. Amortality, Time, 12 March. http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1884779_1884782_1884758,00.html. Accessed 9 April 2009.

  74. Mayer-Wolk, Eva. 2002. Jungbrunnen-Hormone? FAZ, 25 January. http://www.faz.net/f30/common/Suchergebnis.aspx?term=%22jungbrunner+hormone%22&x=0&y=0&allchk=1. Accessed 29 March 2009.

  75. Miketta, Gaby. 2001. Gesünder, jünger und frischer, Focus, 10 December. http://www.focus.de/gesundheit/news/medizin-gesuender-juenger-und-frischer_aid_190874.html. Accessed 7 April 2009.

  76. Muggenthaler, Ferdinand. 2004. Transhumanismus: Die Tiefkühlreligion, DIE ZEIT, 7 July. http://www.zeit.de/2004/42/N-Transhumanismus. Accessed 9 April 2009.

  77. Müller-Jung, Joachim. 2004. Nach dem Jungbrunnen für die Maus kräht kein Hahn, FAZ, 10 November: N 1.

  78. Mykytyn, Courtney. 2006a. Contentious terminology and complicated cartography of anti-aging medicine. Biogerontology 7: 279–285.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  79. Mykytyn, Courtney. 2006b. Anti-Aging medicine: A patient/practitioner movement to redefine aging. Social Sciences and Medicine 62: 643–653.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  80. Olshansky, Stuart, Leonard Hayflick, and Bruce Carnes. 2002. Position statement on human aging. Journal of Gerontology, Biological Science 57A: B292–B297.

    Google Scholar 

  81. Perls, Thomas. 2004. Anti-aging quackery: Human growth hormone and tricks of the trade—more dangerous than ever. Journal of Gerontology 59A: 682–691.

    Google Scholar 

  82. Pollack, Andrew. 2003. Forget botox. Anti-aging pills may be next, NYT, 21 September. http://www.nytimes.com/2003/09/21/business/yourmoney/21OLDY.html?scp=1&sq=%22Forget%20Botox.%20Anti-Aging%20Pills%20May%20Be%20Next%22&st=cse. Accessed 9 April 2009.

  83. Pontin, Jason. 2006. Is defeating aging only a dream? No one has won our $20,000 challenge to disprove Aubrey de Grey’s anti-aging proposals. Technology Review, 11 July. http://www.technologyreview.com/sens/index.aspx. Accessed 28 January 2009.

  84. Reibstein, Larry. 1996. Rippling abs in 30 days or your money back! NW, 16 September. http://www.newsweek.com/id/102832/page/1. Accessed 9 April 2009.

  85. Reynolds, Gretchen. 2006. Raging hormones, NYT, 20 August. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9E0DEED81F3FF933A1575BC0A9609C8B63&scp=4&sq=22Raging%20Hormones%22&st=cse. Accessed 9 April 2009.

  86. Römmler, Alexander. 2002. Einführung in die Anti-Aging Medizin. In Anti-Aging Sprechstunde, ed. Alexander Römmler, and Alfred Wolf, 1–24. Berlin: Congress-Compact-Verlag.

    Google Scholar 

  87. Römmler, Alexander, Markus Metka, and Roland Ballier. 2008. Anti-Aging am Scheideweg (press release 9 September). http://www.gsaam.de/Downloads/ presse090908.pdf. Accessed 2 February 2009.

  88. Ruibal, Sal. 2007. HGH goes beyond athletes, USA Today, 16 March. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/2007-03-01-hgh-outside-athletics_x.htm. Accessed 9 April 2009.

  89. Russell, Sabin. 2003. Aging baby boomers turn to hormone, SFC, 17 November. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2003/11/17/MNGEV33KQD1.DTL&hw=Aging+baby+boomers+turn+to+hormone&sn=001&sc=1000. Accessed 9 April 2009.

  90. Samuelson, Robert J. 2003. Adventures in agelessness, NW, 3 November. http://www.newsweek.com/id/60327. Accessed 9 April 2009.

  91. Schirmacher, Arne. 2008. Nach der Popularisierung: Zur Relation von Wissenschaft und Öffentlichkeit. Geschichte und Gesellschaft 34: 73–95.

    Google Scholar 

  92. Schmitt, Stefan. 2006. Älterwerden. Anti-Aging für die Zukunft, Spiegel-Online, 16 July. http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/mensch/0,1518,426983,00.html. Accessed 6 April 2009.

  93. Schulte von Drach, Markus. 2007. Können wir ewig leben? SZ, 26 November. http://www.sueddeutsche.de/wissen/759/425517/text/. Accessed 8 April 2009.

  94. Siemons, Mark. 2002. Werden Sie unsterblich, FAZ, 20 April, 41.

  95. Siwolop, Sana. 2001. Trying to roll back the biological clock, for a price, NYT, 21 October. http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/21/business/personal-business-trying-to-roll-back-the-biological-clock-for-a-price.html?scp=2&sq=%22Trying%20to%20Roll%20Back%20the%20Biological%20Clock,%20for%20a%20Price%22&st=cse. Accessed 9 April 2009.

  96. Spindler, Mone. 2009. Natürlich alt? Zur Neuerfindung der Natur des Alter(n)s in der Anti-Ageing Medizin und der Sozialgerontologie. In Die neuen Alten - Analysen einer neuen Sozialfigur, ed. Silke van Dyke, and Stephan Lessenich, 380–403. Frankfurt/Main: Campus.

  97. Statistisches Bundesamt. 2008. Mikrozensus—Bevölkerung und Erwerbstätigkeit 2007. Wiesbaden: Statistisches Bundesamt.

    Google Scholar 

  98. Stockinger, Günther. 2000. Viagra für den ganzen Körper, Der Spiegel, 17 July, 168–171.

  99. Stolze, Cornelia. 2004. Volle Spanne Leben. Stern, 24 November. http://www.stern.de/wissenschaft/gesund_leben/medizin/:Forschung-Volle-Spanne-Leben/532626.html?id=532626. Accessed 6 April 2009.

  100. Stolze, Cornelia. 2008. Potenz und Testosteron, Spiegel-Online, 14 January. http://www.spiegel.de/wissenschaft/mensch/0,1518,521882,00.html. Accessed 6 April 2009.

  101. Streubel, Christiane. 2008. Disclosing the inner life of “old” bodies. Medical journalism in the 20th century, paper held at the international conference “(Re)constructing the aging body: Western medical cultures and gender 1600–2000”, organized by Antje Kampf, Lynn Botelho, and Christiane Streubel. University of Mainz. 26–28 September.

  102. Striegl, Sonja. 2007. Praxis Dr. Jungbrunnen, 7 March. http://www.swr.de/swr2/programm/sendungen/wissen/-/id=660374/nid=660374/did=1915392/1cck4ck/index.html. Accessed 12 November 2008.

  103. Torassa, Ulysses. 2002. Growth hormone called risk for elderly, SFC, 13 November. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2002/11/13/MN78192.DTL&hw=Growth+Hormone+called+risk+for+elderly&sn=001&sc=1000. Accessed 9 April 2009.

  104. Traufetter, Gerald. 2001. “Power ohne Ende”, Der Spiegel, 3 September, 60–62.

  105. Tumiel, Cindy. 2003. Anti-aging methods go from myth to science, SFC, 2 March. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2003/03/02/LV219112.DTL&hw=Anti+aging+methods+go+from+myth+to+science&sn=001&sc=1000. Accessed 9 April 2009.

  106. Underwood, Anne. 2008. Never say die. Step aside, quacks. The search for longer life is a real science now, NW, 6 December. http://www.newsweek.com/id/172561. Accessed 9 April 2009.

  107. Vincent, John. 2006. Ageing contested: Anti-aging science and the cultural construction of old age. Sociology 40: 681–698.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  108. Vincent, John, Emannuelle Tulle, and John Bond (eds.). 2009. The anti-ageing enterprise: Science, knowledge, expertise, rhetoric and values. Journal of Aging Studies 22(4).

  109. van Dyk, Silke, and Stephan, Lessenich (eds). 2009. Die neuen Alten - Analysen einer neuen Sozialfigur. Frankfurt/Main: Campus.

  110. von Lutterotti, Nicola. 2006. Dem Alter ein Schnippchen schlagen, FAZ, 8 February: N 2.

  111. von Kondratowitz, Hans-Joachim. 1991. The medicalization of old age: Continuity and change in Germany from the late eighteenth century to the early twentieth century. In Life, death, and the elderly: Historical perspectives, ed. Margaret Pelling, and Richard Michael Smith, 134–164. London, New York: Routledge.

    Google Scholar 

  112. Wade, Nicholas. 2008. Hoping two drugs carry a side effect: Longer life, NYT, 22 July. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/22/health/research/22long.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss. Accessed 9 April 2009.

  113. Wagner, Luise. 1997. Leben ohne Ende, Stern, 24 April, 42–52.

  114. Wallace, Aurora. 2005. Newspapers and the Making of Modern America: A History. Westport, CT: Greenwood.

    Google Scholar 

  115. Warner, Huber, et al. 2005. Science fact and the sens agenda: What can we reasonably expect from ageing research. EMBO Reports 6: 1006–1008.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  116. Wegner, Jochen. 2005. Google fürs Gehirn, Focus, 8 August. http://www.focus.de/wissen/wissenschaft/denker-google-fuers-gehirn_aid_210662.html. Accessed 9 April 2009.

  117. Weil, Andrew. 2005. Aging naturally, Time, 9 October. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1115695,00.html. Accessed 9 April 2009.

  118. Wilson, Duff. 2007. Aging: Disease or business opportunity, NYT, 15 April. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/15/business/yourmoney/15aging.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=%22Aging:%20Disease%20or%20Business%20Opportunity%22&st=cse. Accessed 9 April 2009.

  119. Witasek, Alex. 2007. Die logische Voraussetzung für Regeneration. Gesund älter werden 2: 16–18.

    Google Scholar 

  120. Zimmer, Katharina. 1995. Jugend zum Schlucken, DIE ZEIT, 20 January, 37.

Download references

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mone Spindler.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Spindler, M., Streubel, C. The Media and Anti-Aging Medicine: Witch-Hunt, Uncritical Reporting or Fourth Estate?. Medicine Studies 1, 229 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12376-009-0028-2

Download citation

Keywords

  • Anti-aging medicine
  • Mass media
  • Press coverage
  • American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine
  • Methuselah Foundation
  • German Society of Anti-Aging Medicine
  • Transatlantic learning processes