Do you know someone who’s only 28 yet looks years older? Or someone in their 40s who functions as well as someone in their 20s?
According to a new study, this is because many of us are ageing more quickly, or slowly, than our peers.
By comparing 150 genes, scientists can find your ageing ‘signature’, which tells you how fast your body is ageing and even predict when you will die!
Your biological age looks at how quickly your body is breaking down compared with the average. Sounds depressing, but it’s worth knowing because it can help you identify your risk for age-related diseases such as dementia and osteoporosis.
You could be tested for your risk of certain diseases including cancer and Alzheimer’s, and your general rate of cognitive decline. You could also discover how suitable your organs are for donation, regardless of age.
For some conditions, it really is just down to ‘good genes’. The study found that conditions like heart disease were independent of biological age. In short, there’s not much you can do about it.
On the plus side, good cardiovascular health reduces the risk of many other diseases including diabetes, obesity, strokes, heart attacks and cancers.
The benefits of regular exercise also include reducing depression and slowing down the ageing process in terms of muscle power, balance and coordination.
So while those workouts and leafy greens may not change your genes, they will certainly give you more energy and improve your overall long term health.
Like Tom, I would hope that I'm ageing slower than average. But it doesn't sound like there's much I can do about it anyway. Would I like to take the test and find out? No!!
I like to think that I'm younger than my age thanks to time spent in the gym - I'd hate to find out otherwise from one of these tests!
So basically there's nothing we can do about how fast we're going to age - but we can reduce our chances of getting health-related diseases by working out. At least I know the gym visits are still worth doing.
scary stuff - would I want to know, I wonder? I suppose it would make the pension easier to sort out!!