Biological Age Acceleration Correlates with Increased Risk of Dementia and Stroke

There are now many ways to determine biological age, the most prevalent of which are epigenetic clocks and combinations of normal blood biomarkers such as the phenotypic age clock. In all cases, the idea is to identify specific measurable changes that correlate with age, and then develop an algorithm that combines the measures to produce an age as the output. Whether a given clock actually reflects all of the processes of aging, and what exactly is being measured under the hood, are questions that have yet to be satisfactorily answered. It has been noted that in all of the established biological age measures, people with a higher biological age than chronological age also exhibit a higher risk of age-related disease. This is the case here, for another novel measure of biological age that is derived from a combination of simple biomarkers.

In order to measure biological age and the link to disease, the researchers used data from the UK Biobank. They studied a cohort of 325,000 people who were all between 40 and 70 years old at the time of the first measurement. Biological age was calculated using 18 biomarkers, including blood lipids, blood sugar, blood pressure, lung function, and BMI. The researchers then investigated the relationship between these biomarkers and the risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia, stroke, ALS, and Parkinson's disease within a nine-year period.

When compared to actual, chronological age, high biological age was linked to a significantly increased risk of dementia, especially vascular dementia, and ischemic stroke, (i.e. blood clot in the brain). "If a person's biological age is five years higher than their actual age, the person has a 40 per cent higher risk of developing vascular dementia or suffering a stroke." The results are particularly interesting because the study included such a large group of people. This makes it possible to break down the material into smaller pieces and capture less common diagnoses such as ALS. The risk of developing ALS also increases with higher biological age. However, no such risk increase was seen for Parkinson's disease.



A few weeks ago I played around with the 3.0 biological age calculator, imputing different numbers to see the results. 3.0 uses 19 blood biomarkers, the biological age calculator discussed here uses 18 blood biomarkers, given that there are only so many biomarkers in routine blood tests, there is no doubt a great deal of overlap. I have a low opinion of the usefulness of these calculators beyond picking up the signal from widely disparate blood biomarkers that would indicate kidney disease, anemia, etc..., such gross outliers are already flagged, that is the whole point of the routine test.

And I think the calculators are too easy to game by increasing RBC numbers. I am on cholesterol lowering meds and TRT, thus I have very low LDL and highish RBC numbers, my 3.0 calculated age was 22.0, I recently turned 63, that is absurd.

Posted by: JohnD at November 14th, 2023 8:49 AM

Yep I think the methylation based age tests would be better than routine blood test markers.

Posted by: Mike Best at November 14th, 2023 9:12 AM

After a quick look I am a bit confused at the paper and comments. First, (on 1st comment) is totally different from the methods the authors use. Second, I do not understand whether or not the authors make reference to Levine's "PhenotypicAge" (based on 9 blood routine biomarkers + age) or Levine's "PhenoAge" which makes, in addition, use of DNAm methylation data (on 2nd comment). This is both in the subject paper on neurodegenerative disease and the reference therein (by same authors) with cancer risk as end point.

Posted by: albedo at November 19th, 2023 11:51 AM
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