Study: Biological age, not chronological age, may indicate your risk of dementia or stroke
New research, reported by The Conversation, suggests that biological age, more than chronological age (the number of years you live) can predict your risk of dementia and stroke in the future.
The study, published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry, examined more than 325,000 middle-aged and older British adults. It has been investigated whether advanced biological age increases the future risks of developing neurological diseases, including dementia, stroke, Parkinson’s disease and motor neuron disease.
To assess biological age, they analyzed 18 biomarkers collected during medical check-ups between 2006 and 2010. These included blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol levels, markers of inflammation, waist circumference and lung capacity.
The participants were followed for nine years to see who developed neurological diseases. Those with older biological ages at the start of the study had significantly higher risks of dementia and stroke over the next decade – even after accounting for differences in genetics, sex, income and lifestyle.
While older biological age showed a strong association with dementia and stroke, a weaker link was found with motor neuron disease and even an opposite direction for Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease often has unique characteristics. For example, although smoking usually accelerates aging, it paradoxically exerts a protective effect against Parkinson’s disease.
Don’t panic if your biological age is older than your chronological age. Research is beginning to suggest that biological age can be slowed or even reversed through lifestyle interventions, including exercise, sleep, diet and nutritional supplements.
An article by Arina Delcea