Classifying aging as a disease in the context of ICD-11

Front Genet. 2015 Nov 4:6:326. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2015.00326. eCollection 2015.


Aging is a complex continuous multifactorial process leading to loss of function and crystalizing into the many age-related diseases. Here, we explore the arguments for classifying aging as a disease in the context of the upcoming World Health Organization's 11th International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11), expected to be finalized in 2018. We hypothesize that classifying aging as a disease with a "non-garbage" set of codes will result in new approaches and business models for addressing aging as a treatable condition, which will lead to both economic and healthcare benefits for all stakeholders. Actionable classification of aging as a disease may lead to more efficient allocation of resources by enabling funding bodies and other stakeholders to use quality-adjusted life years (QALYs) and healthy-years equivalent (HYE) as metrics when evaluating both research and clinical programs. We propose forming a Task Force to interface the WHO in order to develop a multidisciplinary framework for classifying aging as a disease with multiple disease codes facilitating for therapeutic interventions and preventative strategies.

Keywords: ICD-10; ICD-11; QALY; WHO; aging; biogerontology; disease classification; task force.