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As a field of study and practice, rheumatology was an excellent blend of things I wanted and was interested in. If someone says you have thick skin, they’re probably referring to your ability to accept criticism and not take things too personally. In an interview with Enlightenment Next, he says he eats well, exercises, tries to avoid stress and takes around 250 dietary supplements per day to minimize the effects of aging and ward off disease. As life expectancy steadily rose and patterns of disease experienced a profound shift, the prevailing mythology at the time suggested an unfortunate scenario for future health. I had the opportunity to watch life course events in patients with rheumatologic disease and the diseases were chronic and intellectually exciting to me. In the course of my studies, I began to believe that the possibility of understanding life through forces of reason and without data had been exhausted. Instead, I began to believe that a greater understanding of life and death would come from the data of biological sciences and, in particular, medicine. He surprised himself when he began to find the answers to these questions in the study of medicine.

It was here that I really developed an interest in moving medicine and healthcare in general from short-term outcomes to long-term outcomes. After a brief period as a philosophy instructor at Stanford, Fries headed to Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he graduated with a degree in internal medicine and completed a fellowship in rheumatology. Fries studied philosophy as an undergraduate at Stanford. He describes himself as a young man who was very interested in the “great thoughts” on which classical philosophy is based: Why are we here? The major car rental companies are conveniently located on the lower level of the airport, just down from the baggage claim area. Convinced that all-in-one car seats are one of the most important home appliances you’ll ever buy? Remember that there is no one magic pathway to living a happy life of longevity and vitality. Throughout the years, I have been able to return to my active life and heal myself through living a more holistic lifestyle. Together, Fries and Sarah have led an active life, skiing and adventure traveling the world, from the North Pole to Southeast Asia. In February, Fries and Sarah celebrated the 50th anniversary of their first kiss and have been married nearly as long.

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James Fries and his wife Sarah. James Fries at Mount Everest Base Camp. Despite these and other data, however, Fries noted that compression of morbidity cannot be explained by lifestyle factors alone. Although Fries, the father of two children (one deceased) and five grandchildren, maintains that there is no one way to compress morbidity, he suggests everything in moderation, except physical activity, which he stresses as the key to delaying the onset of morbidity. Healthy living and reduction of health risks have played a huge role in the compression of morbidity, but to truly understand the phenomenon we also need to look at other factors, such as joint replacement, statins, better control of diabetes, and other medical innovations introduced in the past few decades that could have contributed to the delay in morbidity. Fries joined the Stanford faculty in 1970. He formulated the compression of morbidity hypothesis during his first sabbatical in 1978 to 1979 at the Center for Advanced Studies and Behavior Sciences, an independent research institution in Stanford, California. The compression of morbidity theory was seen as mind-bending at its debut because it not only changed the way we think about aging, but positioned the issue of aging and the elderly at the center of public health.

“We cannot compress morbidity indefinitely, but the paradigm of a long, healthy life with a relatively rapid terminal decline is most certainly an attainable ideal at both a population level and individual level,” said Fries. For example, although there has been a reduction in smoking in the general population of the United States, there has been a simultaneous increase in obesity, and rates of physical activity have remained flat for the past 25 years. That’s a question you’ll have to wrestle with before deciding which route to take. In the new millennium, being a resident of planet Earth means you have more of a responsibility than ever to take care of your home. So, don’t be afraid to take a break sometimes to spend it with your loved ones! 2020. For example, fewer Americans reported that they were “snacking more” (18% in 2021 vs. At an individual level, there are three key issues Americans need to pay attention to when it comes to health and postponing morbidity-smoking, obesity, hi and exercise. I hike and exercise all the time and feel great afterward. After adjusting for possible confounding variables, they found that the cumulative lifetime disability was four times greater in those who smoked, were obese, and did not exercise than it was in those who did not smoke, were lean, and exercised.5 The onset of measurable disability was postponed by nearly 8 years in the lowest-risk third of the study participants compared with the highest-risk third.