Statement Of Dr. Arlan G. Richardson
Environmental Protection Agency
Aging Initiative Public Listening Session
San Antonio, Texas
April 8, 2003
Director, Aging Research and Education Center
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA)
I appreciate the opportunity to be here. I think all of us realize the importance of the aging population. It is projected that there will be a 100 percent increase in the number of elderly nationwide in the next 30 years. But in the Texas area, it is projected that there will be a 200 to 300 percent increase. So this is going to be a problem that is not going away. I am a molecular biologist/biochemist by training. We are studying aging from the molecular level. A universal aspect of aging is the decreased ability of older individuals - whether they are rats, monkeys or humans - to cope with the variety of stresses. This links to what we are talking about with environmental exposures. Certainly the elderly are going to be at a greater risk. This is going to be very important for us to consider and is something that has not been considered in the past. Here, in San Antonio, we have a very strong aging program, both clinically and the basic sciences at the health center. I think we are in an ideal position to help to bridge these questions with respect to aging and the affects of the environment upon the elderly.