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Wednesday, 26 November 2014, 6:00PM
Museum of London

Health and the Seven Ages of Man: Serious ill health in the very old and the very young

Professor Chris Whitty

Shakespeare defined seven ages of man, and in his time death was no stranger in all of these groups; Shakespeare died in his early 50's.

Economic development and modern medicine have gradually squeezed life-threatening conditions to the extremes of life: the mewing infant in the developing world, and the seventh age in the developed world increasingly are where death and serious illness are concentrated.

Even in the last 15 years, the average age of onset of much life-changing illness in the UK has gone up significantly, and the average age of global childhood deaths has gone down with over 40% of under 5 year old deaths now in the first 28 days of life.

The lecture will explore why this reduction in deaths and serious disease in the period from early childhood to late old age has happened, and provide an initial exploration of what we can learn for future improvements. 

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Christopher Whitty CB FRCP FMedSci is Gresham Professor of Physic (the term for medicine when the post was created in 1597) at Gresham College. He is also Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England, the UK Government's Chief Medical Adviser, Chief Scientific Adviser at the Department of Health and Social Care and head of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). 

He still practices as an NHS Consultant Physician at University College London Hospitals (UCLH) and the Hospital for Tropical Diseases. He is involved in many day-to-day public health decisions for the UK.

He is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. He was interim Government Chief Scientific Adviser and Head of the Science and Engineering Profession and was previously Chief Scientific Adviser at the UK Department for International Development (DFID). Before becoming CMO he was Professor of Public and International Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, and was previously Visiting Gresham Professor of Public Health.

Professor Whitty has worked as a clinician and in public health and clinical research in the UK, Africa and Asia. He undertook his postgraduate training in epidemiology, economics and medical law.

The major cancers and their prevention and treatment are the theme for his second series of lectures as Gresham Professor of Physic.

Professor Whitty's lectures series are as follows:

2019/20 Cancer: A Fight we are Steadily Winning

2018/19 Infections Diseases: The Oldest Enemy

2017/18 Chronic Diseases

2016/17 Bold Ideas in Medicine

2014/15, 2015/16 Medicine at the Extremes of Life

2013, 2014 and 2016 Imported Infections and Epidemics

All lectures by the Gresham Professors of Physic can be accessed here.

Current Gresham Professor of Medical science

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26 November 2014

Health and the Seven Ages of Man: Serious ill health in the very old and the very young
Professor Chris Whitty

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