Age is a controversial subject. Some fear old age because they’re afraid of losing their beauty. Others Some fear old age because they’re afraid of losing their health. There are also those who embrace old age and the gravitas and wisdom that come with it.
Many lie about their age. Kids and teens typically think that a person becomes old somewhere in their early 20s or mid 20s, depending on who you ask. Adults are a little more giving saying that a person starts to age either in their mid 30s, their early 40s, or their early 50s.
Regardless of where you stand on the subject, a new study has revealed some people simply age quicker than others, and that the best signs of how you will age start to show in your in mid 20s.
Researchers from Duke University set out to investigate why some very young and fairly young people look much older than they actually are. For instance, some subjects who were only 38 years old, from a biological perspective looked like they were 60. On the flip side, there were also 38 year old subjects who looked like they were still in their mid or late 20s.
The project is said to also help scientist working on “youth potions” that keep people from aging, as well as those working on treatments meant to prevent the development of age related diseases.
For their study, Daniel W. Belsky and Terrie E. Moffitt from Duke University looked at 954 people born in Dunedin (New Zealand), between the years of 1972 and 1973. They were initially tested and examined when they reached the age of 26, then when they reached the age of 32, and a final time when they reached the age of 38.
Medical tests included measuring the subjects’ metabolic functions, immune functions, body mass index (BDI), waist-to-hip ratio, height, as well as assessing the state of their hearts, their lungs, gums, their blood vessels, their kidneys and their livers.
The researchers also looked at the integrity of the subjects’ DNA and had them take IQ tests that they compared to scores obtained in childhood tests.
Daniel W. Belsky, study co-leader, gave a statement saying that “Some of the people in our cohort had aged physiologically not at all between 26 and 38. On the inside they looked the same – the 12 years of time hadn’t passed. At the other end of the extreme, there were folks aging two (2) to three (3) times as much”.
The results showed that the 38 year old subjects who looked older than they were also had higher cholesterol levels, higher blood pressure levels and higher levels of inflammation. They had poorer balance and coordination and a weaker grip than those who looked younger.
While he couldn’t prove the following, Belsky strongly believes that these subjects also aren’t breathing as well as they should for their age, that they might be overweight and that they are likely to have metabolic problems.
Their IQ tests showed cognitive decline and they also exhibited signs of an increased stroke risk and risk of developing dementia. In fact, the researchers inform that their test results looked like they belonged to people who were in their 50s and 60s.
But the most interesting age related change may be the one happening in the face. Belsky and Moffitt showed college students high-resolution photos of the subjects without telling them that they were all the same age, 38 years old.
When they were told to guess how old each subject was, the students guessed that some of them were aging faster than others and that that was the reason they looked older.
There is a working theory that lifestyle changes could potentially help those who age older, however it has not been tested yet.
Image Source: healthboss.org