Dunedin Biological Age Study
Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health & Development Study originally had 1037 participants. There were 1007 remaining in 2010.
Reasons for early death are interesting:
10 died in accidents
12 died from cancer, disease or genetic defects
8 committed suicide
The 18 Biological Markers
Blood Test Markers (9)
Glycated hemoglobin. (Tests the stability of blood sugars)
C-reactive protein. (Measure of inflammation)
High density lipoprotein. (HDL - That's the "good cholesterol.")
Lipoprotein(a) (Risk factor for CVD)
Total Cholesterol (Once considered a risk factor for CVD)
Triglycerides (Fatty acids in the blood)
White blood cell count ( A measure of your immune system)
Leukocyte telomere length (The caps that protect the ends of gene strings.)
Apolipoprotein B100/A1 ratio (Identifies small, dense LDL particles)
Kidney Function (2)
Urea nitrate. (Ability of the kidney to remove nitrogen)
Creatinine clearance. (Measure of kidney health)
Exercise Related (3)
Forced vital capacity ration. (FEV1/FVC)
Forced expiratory volume in one second. (FEV1)
Cardio-respiratory fitness. (VO2Max)
Physical Condition (4)
Periodontal disease. (Gum disease)
Body mass index
So MOST of the participants were biologically older than their 38 chronological years. Why is that? We might begin by questioning the dietary guidelines first issued in 1997. This is the basis of the New Zealand Guidelines which I believe are unhelpful.
We should also understand that we live in "prosperous times" and our diet is not typical of diets through history at all.
What then is normal aging like? I think we don't really know. But certainly it need not include all the obesity and lifestyle diseases we currently see.