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Slowing Aging? Americans are Doing It

A new study has revealed that Americans have been able to slow down the process of aging. The study has been conducted by the University of Southern California and Yale University. The researchers have found that the gains that have been seen in life expectancy over the last few decades may be attributed to a change in the rate of biological aging.

So far it is the first evidence of delayed 'aging' among the national sample of Americans. The team of researchers have inferred that a change in the rate of human aging process, whether by means of environment or biomedical intervention, would delay the incidence of disability and age related illnesses. The researchers in the U.S used the data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III (1988-19994) and NHANES IV (2007-2010), to analyse how biological age, relative to chronological age, changed while the contributions of health behaviours were kept into consideration. Biological age was calculated making use of various indicators for metabolism, inflammation, and organ function, including levels of haemoglobin, total cholesterol, creatinine, alkaline phosphatase, albumin, and C-reactive protein in blood as well as blood pressure and breath capacity data. The results were such that older adults experienced the greatest decreases in biological age, and men experienced higher declines in biological age than females. Such differences were explained by changes in smoking, obesity, and medication use. The changes are more apparent at the old age, signalling problems for younger cohorts, particularly females. Reducing the speed of aging, along with an increase in life expectancy, has various social as well as economic implications. Also, extension of life without bringing about a change in the aging rate will have harmful inferences. Medical care costs will increase, as people spend a higher proportion of their lives with disease and disability.

By: Anuja Arora


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