Definition of Disease

The conventional definition of disease is outdated. Link to heading

Here is wikipedias definition:

  • A disease is a particular abnormal condition that adversely affects the structure or function of all or part of an organism and is not immediately due to any external injury. Diseases are often known to be medical conditions that are associated with specific signs and symptoms. A disease may be caused by external factors such as pathogens or by internal dysfunctions.

But abnormal shouldn’t be included.

Why does the number of people suffering from a condition determine if the condition is a disease? Surely 51% of people suffering from a condition should be classified as a disease just as numch as 49%. Furthermore, if 100% of the population is suffering from a condition, the condition should be classified as a disease.

As a thought experiment, lets say we isolated a species of animal such that those animals are the only ones of that species in the world. Lets infect the animals with a disease that for example makes them near-sighted, more likely to have a heart attack, and more frail. Now all the animals are infected with the condition. By wikipedias definition, the “disease” we infected the animals with is not a disease anymore simply because the whole population has it. That is absolutely absurd to me.

The definition of disease should be changed to omit such arbitrary qualifications. Here is a better definition by just removing “abnormal”

  • A disease is a particular condition that adversely affects the structure or function of all or part of an organism and is not immediately due to any external injury. Diseases are often known to be medical conditions that are associated with specific signs and symptoms. A disease may be caused by external factors such as pathogens or by internal dysfunctions.

why it matters Link to heading

The problem is that aging is not categorized as a disease with the conventional definition. Everybody suffers or will suffer from the disease of aging, but since it is not categorized as a disease, it is hard to get funding, FDA approval, or interest. Also, if I want to get blood tests to track or therapies that reverse or slow aging, my insurance will not pay for it. The 21st century is the first time we have a chance at beating aging, and the first step is to recognize the enemy.