Dynamic Characteristics of Aging-Related Changes as Predictors of Longevity and Healthy Lifespan
It is well known from epidemiological research that values of indices describing physiological states at a given age may influence human morbidity and mortality risks. Studies of the connections between aging and life span suggest that the dynamic properties of the age trajectories of the physiological indices could also be important contributors to morbidity and mortality risks. In this chapter, we use data from the Framingham Heart Study on longitudinal changes in body mass index, diastolic blood pressure, pulse pressure, pulse rate, blood glucose, hematocrit, and serum cholesterol of the participants to investigate this possibility in depth. We find that some of the variables describing the individual dynamics of the age-associated changes in physiological indices influence human longevity and exceptional health more substantially than the variables describing physiological state. These newly identified variables are promising targets for prevention efforts aiming to postpone the onset of common elderly diseases and increase longevity.