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Two new measures for age and aging rate

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Difference between retina's biological age and person's real age linked to heightened death risk

evidence suggests that the network of small vessels (microvasculature) in the retina might be a reliable indicator of the overall health of the body's circulatory system and the brain.

[They used deep learning] to see if it might accurately predict a person's retinal age from images of the fundus, the internal back surface of the eye

This showed a strong association between predicted retinal age and real age, with an overall accuracy to within 3.5 years.

The proportions of 'fast agers'—those whose retinas looked older than their real age– with retinal age gaps of more than 3, 5, and 10 years were, respectively, 51%, 28%, and 4.5%.

Large retinal age gaps in years were significantly associated with 49%-67% higher risks of death, other than from cardiovascular disease or cancer.

And each 1 year increase in the retinal age gap was associated with a 2% increase in the risk of death from any cause and a 3% increase in the risk of death from a specific cause other than cardiovascular disease and cancer, after accounting for potentially influential factors, such as high blood pressure, weight (BMI), lifestyle, and ethnicity.


The following is of interest because it claims to be able to measure recent rate of aging not just lifetime cumulative aging.

Epidemiologists develop state-of-the-art tool for measuring the pace of aging

analysis of chemical tags on the DNA contained in white blood cells, called DNA methylation marks, the new test is named DunedinPACE

"What makes DunedinPACE unique is that, whereas other tests aim to measure how old or young a person is, DunedinPACE measures whether you are aging quickly or slowly," said Daniel Belsky, Ph.D

our measure is focused on changes occurring over the recent past," explained Belsky. "What is striking is that, even with this more restricted focus, DunedinPACE is equally precise as the best of the currently available tests in predicting disease, disability, and mortality

"In sum, DunedinPACE represents a novel measure of aging that can complement existing DNA methylation measures of aging to help advance the frontiers of geroscience,"

The current analysis establishes DunedinPACE as a novel single-time-point measure that quantifies Pace of Aging with whole blood samples, that can be readily implemented in most DNA methylation datasets, making it immediately available for testing in a wide range of existing datasets as a complement to existing methylation measures of aging.


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  • 6 months later...

A study comparing methylation of genes with health span.

Biological age, not birthdate may reveal healthy longevity

the accelerated biological aging of the body—epigenetic age acceleration specifically—is associated with lower odds of living to be 90 years old and also being physically mobile and having intact mental function.

Based on four different epigenetic "clocks" that measure biological aging, every five to eight years of epigenetic age acceleration was associated with 20% to 32% lower odds of living to age 90 with intact mobility and cognitive function.

[Epigenetic age is a biomarker of aging previously reported to be associated with age-related disease and all-cause mortality. It is a composite measure of DNA methylation (DNAm) levels across specific cytosine-guanine dinucleotide (CpG) sites that together form a single measure associated with chronological or phenotypic age. 

From https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2794706]  

The associations of the epigenetic age acceleration clocks with healthy longevity were found to be independent of other characteristics more common among the long-lived women with intact mobility and memory compared to those who did not survive to age 90 including being white, having no or fewer chronic conditions at baseline, having higher education, not smoking and walking multiple times per week.


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