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