19 Bloodmarkers that Predict Aging

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19 Bloodmarkers that Predict Aging

Chronological age is not a good marker of our susceptibility to disease or mortality. In other words we all age differently and many factors play into our biological age. This month, researchers at Boston University School of Medicine published their study on a set of blood biomarkers that identify how well a person is aging and their risk for non-communicable disease including heart disease, diabetes, cancer and stroke.

“These signatures depict differences in how people age, and they show promise in predicting healthy aging, changes in cognitive and physical function, survival, and age-related diseases like heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and cancer,” the researchers say.

The study collected blood samples from 5,000 participants and from these the researchers compiled 19 different biomarker signatures based on patterns associated with disease-free aging, dementia, heart disease, and so forth.

According to a biostatistic researcher at Boston University, “Many prediction and risk scores already exist for predicting specific diseases like heart disease. Here, though, we are taking another step by showing that particular patterns of groups of biomarkers can indicate how well a person is aging and his or her risk for specific age-related syndromes and diseases.”

The implications are exciting because it signals the possibility of eventually predicting risk factors long before clinical signs and symptoms appear.

The researchers say that the work in metabolomics is just beginning to break ground and is sighted to be a part of the next big revolution in predictive medicine.

List of the 19 biomarkers used to define signatures:

*The upward arrow indicates biomarker values that increase with age. Downward arrow, markers that decrease with age.

High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) ↑

Interleukin 6 (IL-6) ↑

N-terminal B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) ↑

Absolute monocyte count (Abs.M) ↑

White blood cell counts (WBC) ↑

Inflammation biomarkers
Red blood cell distribution width (RDW) ↑

Transferrin receptor (Transf.R) ↑

Mean corpuscular volume (MCV) ↑

Hemoglobin (Hgb) ↑

Hematological biomarkers
Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) ↑

Soluble receptor for advanced glycation end product (sRAGE) ↑

Adiponectin (Adip) ↑

Insulin-like growth factor (IGF1) ↓

Diabetes associated biomarkers
Total cholesterol (T.Chol) ↑ ↓ Lipid biomarker
Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) ↑

Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA) ↓

Endocrine biomarkers
Albumin (Album) ↓

Creatinine ↑

Cystatin C ↑


Sebastiani, P., Thyagarajan, B., Sun, F., Schupf, N., Newman, A. B., Montano, M. and Perls, T. T. (2017)
Biomarker signatures of aging
Aging Cell. doi:10.1111/acel.12557