Contentious terminology and complicated cartography of anti-aging medicine

Biogerontology. 2006 Aug;7(4):279-85. doi: 10.1007/s10522-006-9016-z. Epub 2006 May 27.


Serving as an introduction to the cultural significance of the contemporary emergence of anti-aging medicine, this article outlines some of the distinctions and controversies regarding the usage of the term "anti-aging medicine." By sketching out the complex field of researchers, practitioners, organizations, companies it is clear that "anti-aging medicine" is a highly contentious term that means different things to different groups. Thus, analysis demands a keen attention to contextualizing its usage. However, despite the critically important distinctions in how "anti-aging medicine" is used and what it connotes both to the user and the audience, the core principle of anti-aging is the notion that aging can be targeted for biomedical intervention. It is the orientation toward this explicit goal that marks anti-aging medicine. While neither advocating for/against anti-aging medicine nor excavating the large body of biological literature, this ethnographically researched article explicates the cultural use of "anti-aging medicine" and maps out its main varieties, controversies, stakes, and challenges.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Aging / drug effects*
  • Anthropology, Cultural*
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Geriatrics / standards*
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / administration & dosage
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / classification*
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / standards*
  • Terminology as Topic*
  • United States


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations