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Age Is Just a Number to Austrian Demographers

Photodisc/Thinkstock(LAXENBURG, Austria) -- Old age should be defined by more than a just a number, according to researchers at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria.

Bucking previous studies, demographers Warren Sanderson and Sergei Scherbov have minimized chronological age when ascertaining how old a person really is. They instead focused on life expectancy, overall health and cognitive function.

Scherbov said in a statement, "Your true age is not just the number of years you have lived" since lifespans have gotten longer and "same age" does not correlate with same level of health and other factors.

Essentially, the demographers say that 65 really is the new 50 because many seniors share the same characteristics of people much younger than them from 40 or 50 years ago.

Scherbov contends that "for different purposes we need different measures. Aging is multidimensional."

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