The Speed of Aging: How We Age Predicts Health Issues

Have you ever looked at someone the same age as you and thought that person looked much older or younger than you? Perhaps it’s because you are actually aging at different speeds.

A 2015 study looked at the pace of aging by studying biomarkers such as blood pressure, gum health, cholesterol, lung and kidney function, among others. The participants were all 38 years. Shockingly, after studying those biomarkers, the biological age of individuals actually varied between 28 years old to 61 years old. Those who were aging more quickly appeared older and reported more health issues.

This year, research supported by the National Institute on Aging took that data one step further to see if studying these biomarkers and the rate of aging could serve as early indicators for chronic conditions.

Aging Rate Predicts Health Problems

Researchers looked at the same participants, now seven years later at the age of 45 in hopes of coming up with a “Pace of Aging” score which would determine if someone was aging one year each calendar year, or if they were aging faster or slower than that.

The test found mid-life and older adults who scored higher were at increased risk for chronic disease, disability and mortality. The study also found young adults with childhood adversity indicated faster aging.

“Together, these measurements can help us understand the factors that drive accelerated aging in at-risk populations and identify interventions that can slow aging to build aging health equity,”

said Daniel Belsky, an assistant professor of epidemiology at Columbia University and the first author on both the 2015 and 2022 studies.

To learn more about this research, click here.


About Advena Living

At Advena Living, we know that age is just a number and it’s more about how you feel. That’s why we strive to be more than a traditional, institutional nursing home to give people a better quality of life. We want community members to able to continue to enjoy the simple daily pleasures, rituals and activities that make them who they are.

We know that moving to a long-term care or assisted living community can be a challenge. That’s why our team works to ensure that new residents do not feel alone and are comfortable in their new environment. We strive to make the concept of “home” a real thing for everyone who lives at our communities, no matter how they define it.

Advena Living is a family-owned company that specializes in skilled nursing, long-term care, rehab and assisted living services throughout Kansas. Our name “Advena” means newcomer, which is what we do—welcome newcomers seeking a senior living environment where they may continue to enjoy a full life, and where their personal choices are respected and upheld.