Is Aging Healthy Out of Our Control?

Scientists have discovered genetic variations that could explain why some people seem to age faster than others perhaps suggesting that healthy aging may be somewhat out of our control. The researchers analyzed more than 500,000 genetic variations in search of those linked to aging. According to study co-leader Dr. Nilesh Samani, there are two forms of aging: chronological (based on how old something actually is in years, months, day) and biological (in which cells of some people are older or younger than their chronological age).

“There is accumulating evidence that the risk of age-associated diseases, including heart disease and some types of cancers, are more closely related to biological rather than chronological age,” Samani said in a news release from the University of Leicester and King’s College London.

Study co-leader Dr. Tim Spector said in the release that “what our study suggests is that some people are genetically programmed to age at a faster rate.”

Due to their genes, he said, some people may age even faster when exposed to things “like smoking, obesity or lack of exercise, and end up several years biologically older or succumbing to more age-related diseases.”

This is all fine and good if you actually know how your genes stack up and those genetic tests are not necessarily available or affordable. So err on the safe side. Take care of yourself so that your cells don’t have a conniption!