Individual Differences in Rates of Ageing: Detectable Signs in Young Adults (BBC News / PNAS)


An international research group investigated 18 different ageing-related traits by following 954 people from New Zealand (the Dunedin Study birth cohort) who were born in 1972-73. Multiple biomarkers were tracked, involving the ageing-related traits being checked when the group turned the ages of 26, 32 and 38 years old.

It was found that as early as the third and fourth decades of life there were individual differences whereby people of the same chronological age vary in their “biological ageing” (involving “declining integrity of multiple organ systems”). Analysis showed that at the chronological age of 38, people’s biological ages can range between those typical of persons aged in their late-20s to those of people nearer to 60 years. People with older biological ages, before midlife, tend to perform worse in tests of brain function and have a weaker hand grip strength. Individuals ageing more rapidly are generally less able physically, have early signs of cognitive decline and brain ageing, lower levels of (self-reported) health, and tend to look older.

Full Text Link


Ageing rates vary widely, says study. London: BBC Health News, July 7th 2015.

This relates to:

Full Text Link


Belsky, DW. Caspi, A. [and] Houts, R. [et a] (2015). Quantification of biological aging in young adults. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). July 6th 2015. [Epub ahead of print].

About Dementia and Elderly Care News

Dementia and Elderly Care News. Wolverhampton Medical Institute: WMI. (jh)
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1 Response to Individual Differences in Rates of Ageing: Detectable Signs in Young Adults (BBC News / PNAS)

  1. gettingwell4 says:

    There were three areas I expected to see covered that weren’t addressed in this study:

    – Where were the links back to all of the measurements and predictions researchers made at the beginning of the study when these subjects were age 3? Other studies of these same subjects made such links, but it appears that only the cognitive testing link was made in this study. Are we really supposed to believe here in 2015 that scientists can’t determine any early-life causes for these dramatic later-life effects?
    – Where were the psychological tests? Are we also to believe that the subjects’ states of mind had nothing to do with their physical measurements?
    – I didn’t see any effort to use newer measures such as using the degree of epigenetic DNA methylation as a proxy to measure biological age. I would expect that these subjects’ historical tissue samples may have been available. The reviewer certainly was familiar with newer measures.

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