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For other uses, see Middle Ages (disambiguation).

Middle age is the period of age beyond young adulthood but before the onset of old age. Various attempts have been made to define this age, which is around the third quarter of the average life span of human beings.

Definitions[edit]

According to Collins Dictionary, this is "... usually considered to occur approximately between the ages of 40 and 60".[1] The current edition of the Oxford English Dictionary gives a similar definition but with a shorter span: "The period of life between young adulthood and old age, now usually regarded as between about forty-five and sixty." The US Census lists middle age as including both the age categories 35 to 44 and 45 to 54, while prominent psychologist Erik Erikson saw it ending a little later and defines middle adulthood as between 40 and 65. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the standard diagnostic manual of the American Psychiatric Association, used to define middle age as 40–60, but as of Edition IV (1994) revised the definition upwards to 45–65.

Aging[edit]

Older-aged adults often show visible signs of aging such as loss of skin elasticity and graying of the hair. Physical fitness usually wanes, with a 5–10 kg (10–20 lb) accumulation of body fat, reduction in aerobic performance and a decrease in maximal heart rate. Strength and flexibility also decrease throughout middle age. However, people age at different rates and there can be significant differences between individuals of the same age.[2]

Both male and female fertility declines with advancing age.[3][4] Advanced maternal age increases the risk of a child being born with some disorders such as Down syndrome. Advanced paternal age significantly increases the risk of miscarriage, as well as possibly slightly increasing the risk of Down syndrome, schizophrenia, autism, decreased intellectual capacity, and bipolar disorder.[5][6][7][8] Most women will experience menopause, which ends natural fertility, in their mid 40s or early 50s.[9][10] However, fertility in women starts to decline in the 20s. Ten years before menopause, fertility is already very low.

In developed countries, yearly mortality begins to increase more noticeably from age 41 onwards, mainly due to age-related health problems such as heart disease and cancer.[11][12] However, the majority of middle-age people in industrialized nations can expect to live into old age. Life expectancy in developing countries is much lower and the risk of death at all ages is higher.[11]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ middle age. CollinsDictionary.com. "Collins English Dictionary" - Complete & Unabridged 11th Edition. Retrieved December 05, 2012.
  2. ^ Shephard, Roy J. (7 March 1998). "Aging and Exercise". Encyclopedia of Sports Medicine and Science (T.D.Fahey). Retrieved 2007-06-26. 
  3. ^ Rabin, Roni (2007-02-27). "It Seems the Fertility Clock Ticks for Men, Too". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  4. ^ Fertility Treatment Less Successful After 35: In Vitro Fertilization Doesn't Compensate for Decreased Fertility With Age
  5. ^ Heubeck, MA, Elizabeth; Reviewed By Brunilda Nazario, MD (2005-06-29). "Age Raises Infertility Risk in Men, Too: Risks associated with men's biological clocks may be similar to women's.". WebMD. MedicineNet. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  6. ^ "Miscarriage significantly associated with increasing paternal age". Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. 2006-08-03. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  7. ^ Raeburn, Paul (February–March 2009). "The Father Factor: Could becoming a father after age 40 raise the risks that your children will have a mental illness? (PDF)" (PDF). Scientific American Mind: 30–33. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  8. ^ Cannon, Mary (2009-03-10). "Contrasting Effects of Maternal and Paternal Age on Offspring Intelligence". Public Library of Science. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  9. ^ BBC - Health: Menopause
  10. ^ Cannon, Mary (2003-06-26). "Male Biological Clock is Ticking, Too". WebMD Health News. Retrieved 2009-10-16. 
  11. ^ a b "Life Expectancy Profiles". BBC. 6 June 2005. Retrieved 2007-06-26. 
  12. ^ "UK cancer mortality statistics by age". Cancer Research UK. May 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-26. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Young Adult
Stages of human development
Middle age
Succeeded by
Old age

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Middle_age — Please support Wikipedia.
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The Times (subscription)

The Times (subscription)
Fri, 24 Apr 2015 13:26:15 -0700

No one is middle-aged any more. It's a description that we officially no longer recognise. (Young people, by the way, have no problem whatsoever with the term middle-aged. They take it to mean fortysomething-plus: old enough to have grey hair and ...

The Times (subscription)

The Times (subscription)
Thu, 23 Apr 2015 14:00:00 -0700

Breathing in polluted air in cities could raise the risk of dementia and stroke in middle age. Scientists found that levels of fine particles commonly found in urban areas were associated with smaller brain structures and of covert brain infarcts — a ...

Today.com

Today.com
Thu, 16 Apr 2015 06:41:12 -0700

According to a study published in PLOS ONE, those celebrating their sixth decade should no longer considered old, but rather, middle-aged. The study reveals that age can be measured as time lived or it can be measured as time yet to live, based on the ...

Huffington Post

Huffington Post
Thu, 16 Apr 2015 10:02:49 -0700

Dreading the big 5-0? Fear not. A new study says that 60 -- not 50 -- is the new middle-aged. Researchers from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and Stony Brook University say we've been thinking about old age all wrong, and that ...

Telegraph.co.uk

Washington Post
Fri, 10 Apr 2015 01:30:50 -0700

LONDON — A surprising study contradicting all previous research found that being fat in middle age appears to cut the risk of developing dementia rather than increase it, the Lancet scientific journal has reported. A study of two million people found ...
 
Medical Xpress
Wed, 22 Apr 2015 10:15:00 -0700

Now, researchers at Chang Gung University in Taiwan have found that calorie restriction can also be beneficial to muscles, improving muscle metabolism and mass at an important time—during middle age. The article "Late-onset Caloric Restriction Alters ...

The Economist

The Economist
Wed, 01 Apr 2015 07:53:10 -0700

“WHAT are you on? The 'fuck Windows' strategy?” Back in the late 1990s, when Bill Gates was still Microsoft's boss, any employee who had the temerity to suggest something that could possibly weaken the firm's flagship operating system was sure to earn ...

WKYC-TV

WKYC-TV
Thu, 16 Apr 2015 05:45:00 -0700

More people older than 60 say they feel more like 40. And Cleveland Clinic wellness doctors say science can back that up. They say as life expectance rises, age 60 becomes more middle age. Exercising at least 30 minutes a day, managing stress, sticking ...
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