Genes reveal ‘biological ageing’

Gene variants that might show how fast people’s bodies are actually ageing have been pinpointed by scientists. Researchers from the University of Leicester and Kings College London say the finding could help spot people at higher risk of age-related illnesses. People carrying the variant had differences in the “biological clock” within all their cells. The British Heart Foundation said the findings could offer a clue to ways of preventing heart disease. While doctors know that as people age they are more at risk from diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and heart disease, some people fall prey to these at an earlier age than expected.

This research suggests that some people are genetically programmed to age at a faster rate and these genetically susceptible people may age even faster when exposed to proven ‘bad’ environments such as smoking, obesity or lack of exercise.  They end up several years biologically older or succumbing to more age-related diseases. This understanding how our cells age is an important step in our quest for better ways to prevent age related diseases.

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