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Walter M. Bortz II, M.D.
Walter M. Bortz II, M.D., is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine and a graduate of Williams College and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Recognized as one of America’s most distinguished scientific experts on aging and longevity. Dr. Walter Bortz's research has focused on the importance of physical exercise in the promotion of robust aging. Dr. Bortz has published over 130 medical articles and authored numerous books, including We Live Too Short and Die Too Long, Dare to Be 100, Living Longer for Dummies, Roadmap to 100, and Diabetes Danger. In 2010 he wrote Next Medicine (Oxford Univ. Press) and in 2011 he wrote Occupy Medicine (Amazon) Dr. Bortz is past co-chairman of the American Medical Association’s Task Force on Aging, former President of The American Geriatric Society, and is currently Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board for the Diabetes Research and Wellness Foundation. He is married with 4 children and 9 grandchildren. On April 15, 2013 at age 83 he will run the Boston Marathon which will be his 43rd consecutive annual marathon.

Entries by Walter M. Bortz II, M.D.

Dare to Be 100: Preventive Orthopedics? Oxymoron

(0) Comments | Posted December 17, 2014 | 5:59 PM

My ferocious insistence is that medicine defaults its primary mission of assuring the human potential by adopting the wrong fundamental strategy, repair instead of prevention -- because it pays.

Heart attacks, cancer, diabetes, stroke command a repair strategy rather than prevention. To this list I add arthritis that is not...

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Dare to Be 100: Old Brain, New Tricks

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2014 | 1:32 PM

I used to be interested in the effect of aging on cognition in an objective sense, but now, at age 84, the issue becomes very close at hand. I frequently challenge my memory to be sure that I'm not losing it. I too often forget where my car is in...

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Dare to Be 100: Fat Kids and Medical Centers

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2014 | 8:17 AM

The fabric of my life displays the fact that many days are spent in and around medical centers. Stanford is my home church, but yesterday I returned from a three-day trip to Harvard where the Mega Medical Center is in brilliant display. Last month I sojourned at the University of...

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Dare to Be 100: Running Trumps Mutation

(0) Comments | Posted December 1, 2014 | 12:12 PM

A number of decades ago, during my post doctoral training era while building my clinical practice, I harbored the pretense that I would do research as well as see patients. The attempt to live a double career combining practice with time in a research lab caused me to attend many...

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Dare to Be 100: Dam Nation, What Would John Gardner Say?

(3) Comments | Posted November 16, 2014 | 2:01 PM

Last night I had the opportunity to check out the important new documentary film Dam Nation, that has already won honors at first-rank film festivals nationwide. It is a precise retelling of the history of American dam building which reached a fever pitch in the early 1920s. Thousands were built...

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Dare to Be 100: Aging Is Now Known

(0) Comments | Posted November 13, 2014 | 11:05 AM

The answer to the basic question "what is aging?" is now here. It follows by several decades the answer to "what is life?" This answer was provided by physicist Erwin Schrödinger in his seminal series of lectures at Trinity College, Dublin in 1944.

In fact these two fundamental questions --...

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Dare to Be 100: Another Year Vouchsafed

(0) Comments | Posted November 3, 2014 | 7:33 PM

Yesterday I completed my annual long-distance run. My reference point for this activity is a practice that I read about that is followed on a small Pacific island where the old folks annually are obliged to shinny up a palm tree, and told to hang on.

Meanwhile the kids...

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Dare to Be 100: Either, or Or, or Both

(0) Comments | Posted October 29, 2014 | 1:56 PM

Black or white. Good or bad. Too much or too little. To be or not to be. Or maybe.

The human brain insists on all or none, but maybe there is maybe in between.

My random ramblings sometimes uncover an article such as one titled "Analog versus Digital:...

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Dare to Be 100: Stanford MDs 2018

(0) Comments | Posted October 23, 2014 | 8:57 PM

Every year about this time in the fall a bunch of us Stanford medical types get together to evaluate potential med school applicants. Physicians, surgeons, nurses, students, and other assorted folk assemble to spend hours interviewing each of these brightest and best who had just flown in from all over...

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Dare to Be 100: Health Literacy or Bust

(0) Comments | Posted October 20, 2014 | 11:12 AM

Last week I had the happy opportunity to participate in the grand opening of the Global Health Center at the University of California, San Francisco. An elite group of local and visiting dignitaries attended. At my table were the dean of the School of Public Health at Harvard and a...

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Dare to Be 100: Zeke's Premature Extrapolation

(0) Comments | Posted October 10, 2014 | 4:15 PM

Ezekiel Emanuel's misguided and misinformed article in the current issue of The Atlantic, "Why I Hope to Die at 75," has been met with a wildfire of criticism. To my way of thinking, the rejection is appropriate and worthy. Two central questions arise: How long can we live?...

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Dare to Be 100: Humble Pie -- Time Always Wins

(0) Comments | Posted October 2, 2014 | 5:33 PM

In September 1970, Dad died. I, an only child, crashed. He was my alpha and omega. After a wild week of dying, when he left I was devastated. I lost it. I couldn't think or sleep, eat or function . Yes, Dad was my parent, but he was also my...

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Dare to Be 100: Happy Birthday, Home

(0) Comments | Posted September 25, 2014 | 10:07 AM

Yesterday my home for 41 years turned 50 years of age. In September 1964 a small group of home owners met to deliberate their future status, to become part of an established neighborhood or to declare independence.

The town of Portola Valley, current population 5,000, was formed. Several overriding...

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Dare to Be 100: Get Smart, Live Long

(0) Comments | Posted September 19, 2014 | 12:43 PM

I am a geriatrician, a physician who studies those things that get in the way of any of us living all of our fully allotted 100 years. Numerous risk factors have been securely identified. Smoking being the most evident. Gluttony and sloth both shorten life. High risk occupations (miners), inability...

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Dare to Be 100: Book Review -- DENIAL

(0) Comments | Posted September 10, 2014 | 3:07 PM

Ajit Varki's day job is as the distinguished professor of medicine and cellular and molecular medicine at the University of California, San Diego where he leads a fine research team that studies a scarcely recognized domain, the glycans, the little molecules that cover every cell in our body.


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Dare to Be 100: Danger Ahead -- Fat and Frail

(0) Comments | Posted September 5, 2014 | 5:38 PM

When we think of a person as being frail we generally presume that he or she is skinny. A recent article published in the British Geriatrics Society Journal is entitled, "You Don't Need to Be Thin to Be Frail." It was written by Katie Sheehan of the Irish Longitudinal Study...

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Dare to Be 100: Bortz's Law Resounds

(0) Comments | Posted August 28, 2014 | 12:22 PM

"It is never too late to start.
It is always too soon to stop."

The Internet was abuzz seven weeks ago about the performance at the June 1 San Diego Marathon by Harriet Thompson of North Carolina. She is 91 years old (YOUNG). En route she set several...

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Dare to Be 100: Deep Well Diggers

(0) Comments | Posted August 14, 2014 | 5:18 PM

Prof. Nils Nillson was chairman of the exalted Stanford Department of Computer Sciences. His family were also patients of mine. I exploited this connection by challenging him to help relieve a discomfort that I felt because of the deaths of some of my mentors whose teaching was critical to my...

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Dare to be 100: Eos's Error

(0) Comments | Posted August 6, 2014 | 5:22 PM

Greek mythology identifies Eos as one of the fairest members of the ancient world. She was held to be the goddess of the dawn, and is memorialized in many Greek scriptures and artifacts. She hooked up with Tithonus son of the royal house of Troy and a water nymph mother....

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Dare to Be 100: Dyson Serendipity

(0) Comments | Posted July 28, 2014 | 1:27 PM

Freeman Dyson has one of my source minds. He as a physicist occupies Einstein's chair at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study. He is now 91 years old (young). I track him regularly mostly through his writings for the New York Review of Books where he is a regular contributor....

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