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Different aging processes: this way you stay younger than you are
People who were born on the same day are often very differently fit in advanced age. This can often be seen at a young age. The decisive factor is the so-called "biological age", which describes the individual's physical condition and state of health. Researchers from the USA have now presented interesting findings.
The biological age differs early on
Few people are positive about getting older. Every year more "under her belt" increases the physical complaints. But the aging process is obviously very different. With many people who were born on the same day, you can not see that they are the same age. The aging process was and is the focus of numerous scientific studies. Researchers from Göttingen, for example, announced a few months ago that sport keeps the brain young. Other studies have looked at how cells get younger. And now American researchers are reporting new and interesting insights into aging. Accordingly, the biological age already differs at a young age.
Some people hardly seem to age
In cooperation with the "Sonntagszeitung" from Switzerland, the "Welt" reports online about the study, which was published in the journal "PNAS". Some of the study participants did not seem to age at all in a period of twelve years, while others aged two to three times faster. The so-called “biological age” of the 38-year-old according to the passport varied from 28 to 61. The scientists led by Daniel Belsky from Duke University in Durham (USA) examined the aging process in young people. The team used data from a large population study of the New Zealand city of Dunedin. This long-term survey regularly examined more than 1,000 people from birth in 1972 or 1973 to the age of 38.
Physical fitness and cognitive skills
18 biomarkers such as cholesterol, liver and kidney values, blood pressure, heart and dental health were evaluated. The researchers also assessed physical fitness, weight and cognitive skills. According to Belsky, it was unexpected to see how significantly the biomarkers were changing due to age in young and healthy people. It was also shown that subjects who aged physiologically faster also performed worse in other areas. This meant that they were less able to maintain their balance during fitness tests and moved more uncoordinated. They also completed cognitive tasks worse. Last but not least, they looked older.
Typical diseases of old age in people over 65 years of age
Health hazards increase with age. From about 50 years of age, typical age-related illnesses appear. As the "Welt" writes, more than 70 percent of those over 65 suffer from two or more chronic diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, cancer, heart problems or strokes. Last year, US researchers in Nature magazine reported that if one chronic disease could be delayed, others would not come. Studies have already found indications of how the various aging processes could be delayed. According to this, a reduced calorie intake and regular exercise could prolong life and prevent diseases.
A positive attitude to life extends life
Even if there is no simple instruction for a long life, well-trained people are, relatively speaking, “younger” than unsporting peers. This was the conclusion drawn by medical doctor Ulrik Wisløff from NTNU University in Trondheim (Norway), who, with his team of complex algorithms, developed a simple questionnaire that researchers can use to determine how healthy a person is and what “fitness age” they are . Doctors usually determine a person's physical performance by measuring the maximum amount of oxygen they can use under stress. The Norwegian scientists found that age, abdominal circumference, self-reported physical fitness and the heartbeat rate at rest can also serve as an approximation for objective measurements. Another online test calculates the risk of death.
It was developed by Swedish researchers based on data from the so-called "UK Biobank". Gerontologist Mike Martin from the University of Zurich wants to work with an interdisciplinary team to find out why someone stays healthy and not why someone gets sick. He suspects: "It is not just medical factors that are decisive." How people are socially involved also plays a role. Or also the attitude to life. A positive attitude slows down aging, the Jena senior researcher Christoph Englert said in an interview last year. According to experts, there is no universal recipe for how to stay healthy in the next few years. (ad)