Anti-aging medicine group says field isn't ‘controversial’

Nurse-Patient-Hospital-Credit: Getty/monkeybusinessimages
The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine says there is nothing controversial about the field. (Getty/monkeybusinessimages)

A group dedicated to the advancement of treatment for diseases associated with aging disputes what they describe as a mischaracterization that their field of medicine endorses controversial practices.

The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) says there is nothing controversial about anti-aging medicine described in an article about Brenda Fitzgerald, M.D., who was recently appointed director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fitzgerald is board-certified in anti-aging and regenerative medicine by the organization.

The article noted that some practitioners questioned the choice of Fitzgerald for the high-level government position based on her previous support for anti-aging treatments that they said were unproven and anti-scientific.

It also raised concerns that Fitzgerald partnered with Coca-Cola to run a program against child obesity when she was Georgia’s public health commissioner. That program focused on physical activity but didn’t encourage the need to reduce soda consumption due to its high sugar content.

But Robert Hughes, spokesman for A4M, said in an email to FierceHealthcare that the characterization of anti-aging medicine is false and misleading.

“While some may not yet embrace the term ‘anti-aging’ medicine, there is no controversy over the need for physicians to learn how to stem the rising tide of chronic disease through prevention, lifestyle education and incorporation of the latest scientific research to help patients live healthier, longer lives,” he says. “Patients want this. Physicians want this for their patients. A4M provides advanced postgraduate Continuing Medical Education (CME) and training that enables this to occur.” 

Hughes describes A4M as a U.S. federally registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization comprised of more than 26,000 members across the globe, including physicians, scientists and governmental officials, all of whom collectively represent more than 120 nations.

In its 25-year history, he says, A4M has never been the subject of any adverse legal ruling, nor ever been the target of any regulatory procedure or penalty.

“We know through experience that, when practiced by trained physicians, the protocols A4M teaches can result in improved patient health. In addition, these techniques help patients avoid chronic conditions that are major drivers of the relentlessly expanding costs of healthcare,” he says.