Are looking older than your age? Then there is a high chance that you might have actually turned old. According to a new study, the researchers found that age-related decline is already happening in young adults who are decades away from developing age-related diseases.
The study team focused on 954 men and women who had been participating in an ongoing New Zealand study since their birth in 1972 to 1973. In 2011, the participants, then 38, underwent tests of kidney function, liver function, lung capacity, metabolic and immune system strength, cholesterol, blood pressure, dental status, eye structure, and heart health.
They found that people who were biologically older at age 38 also appeared to have been ageing at a faster pace, the team found. A biological age of 40, for example, meant that person was ageing at a rate of 1.2 years per year over the 12 years, the study said.
When facial expressions were monitored, the participants who were biologically older inside also appeared older on the outside. The ultimate goal of the research is to be able to intervene in the ageing process itself, rather than addressing killers like heart disease or cancer in isolation.
"The ability to measure how quickly a young person is ageing may in the future enable us to engage in interventions that slow ageing or target specific diseases," said Salomon Israel, senior lecturer in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.