This is a completely revised and updated version of the 1985 edition by the same name. It is the fifth in a series of eight textbooks on the subject of health and disease. "Birth to Old Age" has been designed to be read on its own, like any other textbook, or studied as part of the "U205 Health and Disease" course for Open University students. "Birth to Old Age" is about our changing experiences and understanding of health throughout our lifespan. The major theme of the book is our movement from dependence on others during childhood to a state of interdependence in adulthood, and increasing dependency in later life. This tension between autonomy and social dependency is reflected throughout our adult life in issues such as sexuality, fertility, work and stress. Each chapter focuses on a specific period of our lives, reviewing the major health issues of that age group - providing new and challenging insights and raising important questions: are parents responsible for accidents to children?; is risk-taking an essential step in the transition from adolescence to adulthood?; what is the mid-life "crisis"?; and how does society shape the ways in which we experience death and dying? This book should be a valuable text for students of health studies, social work, social policy, medicine, nursing and the social sciences. It should be important reading for a wide range of health professionals and carers.