Quantification of biological aging in young adults.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

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.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Belsky, DW; Caspi, A; Houts, R; Cohen, HJ; Corcoran, DL; Danese, A; Harrington, H; Israel, S; Levine, ME; Schaefer, JD; Sugden, K; Williams, B; Yashin, AI; Poulton, R; Moffitt, TE

Published Date

  • July 28, 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 112 / 30

Start / End Page

  • E4104 - E4110

PubMed ID

  • 26150497

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC4522793

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1091-6490

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.1506264112


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States