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The American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M) is a nonprofit organization that promotes the field of anti-aging medicine and trains and certifies physicians in this specialty. As of 2011, approximately 26,000 practitioners had been given certificates.[1] The field of anti-aging medicine is not recognized by established medical organizations, such as the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the American Medical Association (AMA). In addition to certifying practitioners, the Academy's activities include lobbying, education of the public, and public relations. The A4M was founded in 1993 by osteopathic physicians Robert Goldman and Ronald Klatz,[2] and has grown to 26,000 members from 110 countries. The organization sponsors several conferences, including the Annual World Congress on Anti-Aging Medicine.[3]

Several of the anti-aging methods recommended by the Academy have wide support among experts in the field, such as exercise and a healthy diet, but others, such as hormone treatments, do not have support from a consensus of the wider medical community. Many scientists studying aging dissociate themselves from the claims of A4M,[4][5] and critics have accused the group of using misleading marketing to sell expensive and ineffective products.[6] In contrast, the Academy sees itself as acting within science, stating that it bases its ideas on mainstream scientific research, and arguing that its ideas challenge current medical practice. The A4M's founders and merchants who promote products through the organization have been involved in legal and professional disputes.

The activities of the A4M are controversial: in 2003 a commentary on the response of the scientific community to the promotion of anti-aging medicine noted that the activities of the A4M were seen as a threat to the credibility of serious scientific research on aging.[7] According to MSNBC, anti-aging advocates have responded to such criticism by describing it as censorship perpetrated by a conspiracy of the US government, notably the Food and Drug Administration, the AMA, and the mainstream media,[8]. Thomas Perls of the Boston University School of Medicine, a prominent critic of the organization, has stated that claims of censorship and suppression are a common theme in what he calls "anti-aging quackery".[9]

References

  1. Dr Ronald Klatz's Interview With The Anti Aging Source The Anti Aging Source
  2. 'Age management' is a controversial new medical focus CNN. May 9, 2007
  3. About A4M - WorldHealth.net American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine
  4. Contentious terminology and complicated cartography of anti-aging medicine. Journal: Biogerontology. 2006
  5. A rift in business, science of aging Los Angeles Times January 12, 2004
  6. 'Silver Fleece' Awards Warn Consumers of Anti-Aging Misinformation Newswise. February 26, 2004
  7. The War on "Anti-Aging Medicine" Journal: Gerontologist. February 1, 2003
  8. Mainstream docs join anti-aging bandwagon. But with M.D. endorsements, is the field more credible – or risky MSNBC. April 21, 2008
  9. Anti-Aging Medicine: The Legal Issues: Anti-Aging Quackery: Human Growth Hormone and Tricks of the Trade—More Dangerous Than Ever Journal: J Gerontol a Biol Sci Med Sci. July 1, 2004

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