Andrea Maier


The Unknown Future of our Bodies

A distinctive voice in the international debate about ageing

We are getting older and older. The elderly are an important topic in any political discussion about care, work and incomes. ‘Ageing’ is at the top of the European policy agenda. What to do with the growing group of ageing people who require more and more care and are an increasing burden on those who still work? Andrea Maier formulates a radical answer and writes: ‘I do not exclude the possibility that we will become immortal.’

Andrea Maier is a Dutch-German professor of gerontology, and in Everlasting she takes us into the world of ageing. She describes recent developments in gerontology, and guides us through the latest scientific insights. She explains the underlying causes of ageing and how they can be eliminated, claiming that babies born thirty years from now will on average live to be 110, and in some cases 140.

The subject to which this thirty-eight-year-old medical scientist has devoted her life is essential to all of us: how to curb or check the ageing of our bodies to such an extent that we can easily reach 130 and then pass away quietly without debilitating illness. The serious health problems we would expect in anyone living to be 130 will soon be soluble, as infant mortality once was. Experiments on mice have shown that ageing can be reversed. Maier makes clear exactly what we can do for ourselves to ensure we grow old in reason- ably good condition.

Before long, being fit at 130 will no longer be science fiction. And with improvements to preventive health care we no longer need to decline gradually but can achieve virtually eternal life in excellent health.

Does she want everyone to live longer? No. Maier promotes the idea of “the new ageing”. As she sees it, healthcare should be set up so that through preventive behaviour people take more responsibility for aspects of their health that they can themselves influence. That way everyone can contribute to a more ailment-free path towards their own death. She would like to see doctors working on extending their patients’ healthy lives. Stop focusing on repairing broken parts and look at how the deterioration of the body can be halted, is her message in a nutshell.

Medisch Contact

Andrea Maier

Andrea Maier (b. 1978) was raised on medical science. After her father fled what was then the GDR, her parents established a general medical practice in West Germany. After completing her studies she moved to the Netherlands in 2003. She is an internist and professor of gerontology at the VU…

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Eeuwig houdbaar. De ongekende toekomst van ons lichaam (2017). Non-fiction, 223 pages.
Words: 49,000

Themes: health



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