Researchers Introduce 18 Biological Measures to Determine Aging Process

Researchers Introduce 18 Biological Measures to Determine Aging Process

A team of researchers during a study has come up with 18 biological measures that could seek clues to the ageing process in young adults. Findings of the study were presented in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers collected data from the Dunedin Study, a landmark longitudinal study that studied over a thousand people born in 1972-73 in the same town from birth to the present.

Researchers even tracked their blood pressure and liver function regularly along with interviews and other assessments.

Study’s first author Dan Belsky, assistant professor of geriatrics in Duke University’s Center for Ageing, said, “Most studies of ageing look at seniors, but if we want to be able to prevent age-related disease, we’re going to have to start studying ageing in young people”.

Belsky said the process of ageing not only has affects on eyes, joints, and hair, but can also be seen in human organs. Therefore, the team measured the functions of kidneys, liver, lungs, metabolic and immune systems as part of their regular reassessment of the study population that were at the age of 38 in 2011.

They even measured HDL cholesterol, cardiorespiratory fitness, lung function, and the length of the telomeres, protective caps at the end of chromosomes that have been found to shorten with age.

The study even measured dental health and the condition of the tiny blood vessels at the back of the eyes, which are a proxy for the brain’s blood vessels.

As result they found that people biologically older at age 38 also appeared to have been ageing at a faster pace. For example, a biological age of 40 means a person ageing at a rate of 1.2 years per year over the 12 years the study found.