Publication of the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010 (GBD 2010) is a landmark event and we hope, for health. The collaboration of 486 scientists from 302 institutions in 50 countries has produced an important contribution to our understanding of present and future health priorities for countries and the global community. What is the GBD 2010? Launched in 2007, it is a consortium of seven partners: Harvard University; the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, Seattle; Johns Hopkins University; the University of Queensland; Imperial

Previous studies have suggested that diabetes mellitus (DM) is an outcome of exposure to air pollution, and metabolic detoxification genes affect air pollution–related outcomes.
 The researchers evaluated associations between air pollutants and markers of insulin resistance (IR), an underlying mechanism of type 2 DM, and effect modification by GSTM1, GSTT1, and GSTP1 genotypes among elderly participants in the Korean Elderly Environmental Panel (KEEP) study.

The worldwide trend of growing elderly population is an outcome of declining fertility rate and increase in life expectancy. Demographic data on population ageing, growth rate, health and socio-economic aspects across gender, class and region has been discussed. The article has incorporated a special focus on policy measures in each of the above areas. It is advocated that all relevant stakeholders need to initiate a support framework that can enable the elderly to lead quality life with dignity.

To those who enjoy the pleasures of the dining table, the news may come as a relief: drastically cutting back on calories does not seem to lengthen lifespan in primates. The verdict, from a 25-year study in rhesus monkeys fed 30% less than control animals, represents another setback for the notion that a simple, diet-triggered switch can slow ageing.

Traffic-related particles (TRPs) are associated with adverse cardiovascular events. The exact mechanisms are unclear, but systemic inflammatory responses likely play a role. The authors conducted a repeated measures study among male participants of the Normative Aging Study in the greater Boston, Massachusetts, area to determine whether individual-level residential black carbon (BC), a marker of TRPs, is associated with systemic inflammation and whether coronary heart disease (CHD), diabetes, and obesity modify associations.

Health levels varied greatly among people 50 and older in China, Ghana, India, Mexico, Russia and South Africa, but hypertension and arthritis were the two most common chronic conditions in all six countries according to the first-ever U.S. Census Bureau report to use data from the Study on Global Ageing and Adult Health (SAGE).

Heat waves have a drastic impact on urban populations, which could increase with climate change. The authors evaluated new indicators of elderly people’s exposure to heat in Paris, from a public health prevention perspective, using satellite thermal images.

This pilot study investigated the effects of calligraphy therapy on cognitive function in older Hong Kong Chinese people with mild cognitive impairment.

The last century has witnessed a rapid increase in the population of the elderly people in the developed and industrialized countries. This phenomenon is not restricted to the western world only, but many countries such as ours are now feeling the impact of this transaction. This situation could be attributed to a combination of factors such as increase in age, longevity and decreased death rates due to advancement in the field of medicine, improvement of life expectancy at birth, and enhancement in the average span of life.

The phenomenon of population ageing is becoming a major concern for the policy makers all over the world, for both developed and developing countries, during last two decades. But the problems arising out of it will have varied implications for underdeveloped, developing and developed countries.