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Prof. Rudi Westendorp


Professor Westendorp conducts research, provides education and pursues societal innovations to advance the quality of life of older people

Languages : English, Dutch


Rudi Westendorp (1959) is professor of Medicine at Old age at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences at Copenhagen University, Denmark (2015). He sits at the steering board of the interdisciplinary Center of Healthy Ageing exploring aging from cells to society. Trained at Leiden University, Netherlands he became a consultant in internal medicine and epidemiology and later dedicated himself into geriatrics and gerontology. He was full professor at the Leiden University Medical Center, and chair of the department of old age medicine (2000-2014). He was founding director of the privately funded Leyden Academy on Vitality and Ageing (2007-2014) that conducts research, provides education and pursues societal innovations to improve quality of life of older people. He acquainted ample national and European grants, published more than 600+ original articles with an h-index of 70+, and supervised over 50+ PhD students of which three of them have been appointed full professor. He published the bestseller ‘Growing older without feeling old’ that is translated in six languages. He was endowed doctor honoris causa by the University of Newcastle, UK (2009), and received a knighthood in the order of the Dutch Lion (2014).


'The first person to live to 135 has already been born': Scientists say the only reason humans don't live longer is because they don't believe they can
The Daily Mail

October 11, 2015

Our failure to grasp the idea that human lifespans are longer than at any other point in history is limiting our ability to enjoy them, a leading academic has said.Rudi Westendorp, from the University of Copenagen, claims our mindset is preventing us from truly adapting to increases in life expectancy which could soon exceed 100 years.Not only do we fail to recognise this, but we try and 'take it easy' in the belief which have a finite number of heartbeats or our bodies cannot recover from wear and tear...

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How to grow older and bolder: books by Rudi Westendorp and Renata Singer
The Sydney Morning Herald

September 26, 2015

Mention the high cost of sex and you'll surely silence chatter and raise eyebrows around the drawing room, but for Rudi Westendorp, Professor of Healthy Ageing at the University of Copenhagen, the problem with sex is more monumental than prurient. Put bluntly, it kills you...

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Growing Older Without Feeling Old review: An optimistic guide to ageing
The Sydney Morning Herald

August 14, 2015

Professor Rudi Westendorp is a Dutch doctor and researcher who is an expert on questions of ageing and the wellbeing of older people. His book Growing Older Without Feeling Old is written in response to the dramatic increase in average life expectancy in countries such as the Netherlands and Australia. "Within a period of a hundred years, average life expectancy rose from 40 to 80 years." And it keeps going up...

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There's no need to fear dementia. The end of the epidemic is in sight
The Guardian

July 31, 2015

Only few want to grow old, as most of us are afraid of becoming senile. But now that our bodies last longer in better health, our brain being no exception, the prospect of living a fulfilled old age is better than ever before...

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Rudi Westendorp
The Conversation

January 01, 1970

Professor Rudi Westendorp was trained at the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC) in the Netherlands, and specialised in intensive care and epidemiology. Later, he focussed on geriatrics and gerontology. In 2000, he was appointed professor of medicine, and, from 2005 to 2012, he was head of the Department of Gerontology and Geriatrics at the LUMC. In 2008, he founded and became the first director of the Leyden Academy on Vitality and Ageing, a research institute that provides training, conducts research, and initiates developments in the field of vitality and ageing...

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Statins and risk of incident diabetes: a collaborative meta-analysis of randomised statin trials
The Lancet

2010Trials of statin therapy have had conflicting findings on the risk of development of diabetes mellitus in patients given statins. We aimed to establish by a meta-analysis of published and unpublished data whether any relation exists between statin use and development of diabetes...

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Pravastatin in elderly individuals at risk of vascular disease (PROSPER): a randomised controlled trial
The Lancet

2002BACKGROUND: Although statins reduce coronary and cerebrovascular morbidity and mortality in middle-aged individuals, their efficacy and safety in elderly people is not fully established. Our aim was to test the benefits of pravastatin treatment in an elderly cohort of ...

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Genetic influence on cytokine production and fatal meningococcal disease
The Lancet

1997BACKGROUND: To assess the genetic influence on cytokine production and its contribution to fatal outcome, we determined the capacity to produce tumour necrosis factor-α (TNFα) and interleukin-10 (IL-10) in families of patients who had had meningococcal disease. ...

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Interleukin 10 secretion in relation to human IL-10 locus haplotypes
Proceedings of the National Academy of Science

1998Stimulation of human blood cultures with bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) shows large inter-individual variation in interleukin 10 (IL-10) secretion, which has been shown to have a genetic component of over 70%. Alleles at two microsatellite loci in the 4 kb ...

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Total cholesterol and risk of mortality in the oldest old
The Lancet

1997BACKGROUND: The impact of total serum cholesterol as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease decreases with age, which casts doubt on the necessity for cholesterol-lowering therapy in the elderly. We assessed the influence of total cholesterol concentrations on ...

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Area of Expertise

Epidemiology of Ageing


Gerontology Research




Health and Wellness

Health Care - Facilities

Health Care - Services


Leiden University : Medicine

Netherlands Association of Internal Medicine : Internal Medicine, Intensive Care, Geriatrics

Biological Gerontology Group, University of Manchester, UK : Ageing

Netherlands Society of Epidmiology : Epidemiology

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