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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015 Jul 28;112(30):E4104-10. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1506264112. Epub 2015 Jul 6.

Quantification of biological aging in young adults.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC 27710; Social Science Research Institute, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708; dbelsky@duke.edu.
2
Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708; Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC 27708; Center for Genomic and Computational Biology, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708; Social, Genetic, & Developmental Psychiatry Research Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, London SE5 8AF, United Kingdom;
3
Department of Psychology & Neuroscience, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708;
4
Department of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC 27710;
5
Center for Genomic and Computational Biology, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708;
6
Social, Genetic, & Developmental Psychiatry Research Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, London SE5 8AF, United Kingdom; Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, London SE5 8AF, United Kingdom;
7
Department of Psychology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91905, Israel;
8
Department of Human Genetics, Gonda Research Center, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095;
9
Social Science Research Institute, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708;
10
Department of Psychology, University of Otago, Dunedin 9016, New Zealand.

Abstract

Antiaging therapies show promise in model organism research. Translation to humans is needed to address the challenges of an aging global population. Interventions to slow human aging will need to be applied to still-young individuals. However, most human aging research examines older adults, many with chronic disease. As a result, little is known about aging in young humans. We studied aging in 954 young humans, the Dunedin Study birth cohort, tracking multiple biomarkers across three time points spanning their third and fourth decades of life. We developed and validated two methods by which aging can be measured in young adults, one cross-sectional and one longitudinal. Our longitudinal measure allows quantification of the pace of coordinated physiological deterioration across multiple organ systems (e.g., pulmonary, periodontal, cardiovascular, renal, hepatic, and immune function). We applied these methods to assess biological aging in young humans who had not yet developed age-related diseases. Young individuals of the same chronological age varied in their "biological aging" (declining integrity of multiple organ systems). Already, before midlife, individuals who were aging more rapidly were less physically able, showed cognitive decline and brain aging, self-reported worse health, and looked older. Measured biological aging in young adults can be used to identify causes of aging and evaluate rejuvenation therapies.

KEYWORDS:

aging; biological aging; cognitive aging; geroscience; healthspan

PMID:
26150497
PMCID:
PMC4522793
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1506264112
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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