Not everyone appears to age at the same rate.
It would seem to stand to reason that two healthy 30-year-olds will exhibit similar physical and cognitive capabilities, yet according to new research it is possible for some people to age much faster than others regardless of how long they’ve been alive.
The discovery was made following a US study of 38-year-olds which looked at a number of health indicators including heart health, cholesterol levels and lung function.
While most of the group’s biological and chronological ages turned out to be more or less the same, for a small number there were stark differences. Some of the volunteers appeared to have aged up to three times more in the same amount of time while others had barely even aged at all.
“We set out to measure ageing in these relatively young people,” said lead scientist Dr Dan Belsky.
“Most studies of ageing look at seniors, but if we want to be able to prevent age-related disease, we’re going to have to start studying ageing in young people.”
Several of the individuals who appeared to be ageing abnormally fast had reportedly experienced more difficulty undertaking physical tasks and had poorer balance and problem solving skills.
“Already, before midlife, individuals who were ageing more rapidly were less physically able, showed cognitive decline and brain ageing, self-reported worse health, and looked older,” scientists wrote.