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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 the category middle age around 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.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.

75385 news items

Yahoo News

Yahoo News
Mon, 25 May 2015 15:41:15 -0700

Those who were very overweight as teenagers were twice as likely to develop bowel cancer in middle age, compared to subjects of normal weight. Those who were obese were nearly 2.4 times likelier to be diagnosed with the disease. The study, led by ...

Sydney Morning Herald

Sydney Morning Herald
Mon, 18 May 2015 06:52:30 -0700

None of us like it, but inevitably we gain weight as we get older. The combination of hormonal changes, a reduction in metabolic rate as we lose muscle mass over time and less active lifestyles mean that 'middle aged' spread equates to gradual weight ...

The Guardian

The Guardian
Tue, 12 May 2015 10:44:12 -0700

The number of people having a stroke in their 40s and 50s has risen dramatically. So how can you minimise the risk of it happening to you? Doctor checks man's blood pressure. Get your blood pressure checked. Photograph: Katrina Wittkamp/Getty Images.

Stuff.co.nz

Stuff.co.nz
Sun, 17 May 2015 16:49:57 -0700

"It's my middle age, m'dear. I'm 46. I look in the mirror and see my dad. Mortality for you is still something abstract that happens to you. And that's fine, that's normal. For most of us, it's something we don't need to look at. But in your early 40's ...

The Times (subscription)

The Times (subscription)
Tue, 19 May 2015 13:37:30 -0700

Children who are bullied are more likely to become obese in middle age, according to research which suggests that better care in the schoolyard could pay dividends for decades. One in eight cases of obesity could be prevented if bullying were ...

City A.M.

City A.M.
Mon, 27 Apr 2015 02:12:43 -0700

Your musical tastes, much like those for food, drink or a growing preference for a quiet night in, change over time. But thanks to the boffins at Spotify analysing the streaming habits of millions of users, we can officially pinpoint the time when ...

iAfrica.com

iAfrica.com
Fri, 22 May 2015 01:03:45 -0700

Drinking more than two alcoholic beverages per day in middle age could increase the risk of stroke more than the well-known culprits of having high blood pressure or diabetes, according to a new study. That alcohol consumption increases one's risk of ...
 
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Sun, 10 May 2015 01:03:45 -0700

Even apes, though they lack cars, divorces and careers, drop in happiness in middle age. In a fascinating study, Alexander Weiss, a psychologist at the University of Edinburgh, examined the well-being of 508 captive chimpanzees and orangutans.
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