Aging is ‘truly personal’: You could have the immune system of a teenager and the metabolism of a 50-year-old

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One 50-year-old has the nimble metabolism of a teenager, while another’s is so creaky he developed type 2 diabetes — though his immune system is that of a man 25 years his junior. Or one 70-year-old has the immune system of a Gen Xer while another’s is so decrepit she can’t gin up an antibody response to flu vaccines.

In a study published on [January 13] in Nature Medicine, they conclude that just as people have an individual genotype, so too do they have an “ageotype,” a combination of molecular and other changes that are specific to one physiological system. These changes can be measured when the individual is healthy and relatively young, the researchers report, perhaps helping physicians to pinpoint the most important thing to target to extend healthy life.

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If aging is truly personal, understanding an individual’s ageotype could lead to individualized, targeted intervention. “We think [ageotypes] can show what’s going off track the most so you can focus on that if you want to affect your aging,” [biologist Michael] Snyder said.

Cardio-agers, for instance, might benefit from tight cholesterol control, periodic EEGs, and screening for atrial fibrillation.

Read full, original post: Our body systems age at different rates, study finds, pointing to personalized care to extend healthy life

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