Encyclopedia of Gerontology and Population Aging

Living Edition
| Editors: Danan Gu, Matthew E. Dupre

Physiology of Aging as a Basis of Complexity in Aging Medicine and Geriatrics

  • M. Cristina PolidoriEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69892-2_548-1


The concept of physiology of aging implies that with increasing aging, a series of complex events occur which ultimately lead to a progressive reduction in function of all organ systems. This process, also called “homeostenosis,” is influenced by gene variations and differences in exposure to environmental factors (Khan et al. 2017). The interplay between these factors is not well understood, and in any case, it varies in an intra- and interindividual manner. Pathological processes have a major impact on the rate and character of organ changes with age that may not be easy to distinguish from “physiological aging” (Timiras 2007). Aging is not only a heterogeneous process in which age-related changes occur in a continuum from organ integrity to pathology, it is also a complex process mainly characterized by multifactoriality (Polidori et al. 2018, p.3). A complex patient is defined as “one for whom clinical decision-making and required care processes are not routine or...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ageing Clinical Research, Department of Internal Medicine II – Nephrology, Rheumatology, Diabetology and General Internal Medicine – and Center for Molecular MedicineUniversity Hospital of Cologne; and Cluster of Excellence in Aging Research CECAD, University of CologneCologneGermany

Section editors and affiliations

  • M. Cristina Polidori
    • 1
  1. 1.Ageing Clinical ResearchUniversity Hospital of CologneKölnGermany