What’s your agetype?
We all know people who act and appear a lot younger or older than their chronological age. We had a client whose wife fit into the former category. She was 90 years old and was doing yoga and Pilates; she looked like she was 60. Certainly, being physically active all her life had a huge impact on her quality of life and her condition, but there might be a bit of science behind it.
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have concluded that there are distinct agetypes. Based on their study, they believe that the reason why people age at different rates is tied to their molecular make-up. The agetypes include “metabolic ager”, “immune ager”, “hepatic (liver) ager”, and “nephrotic (kidney) ager”.
“Our study captures a much more comprehensive view of how we age by studying a broad range of molecules and taking multiple samples across years from each participant,” says Michael Snyder, PhD, professor and chair of genetics at Stanford. “We’re able to see clear patterns of how individuals experience aging on a molecular level, and there’s quite a bit of difference.”
These agetypes can point to specific risk factors that individuals may face as they age. If the science behind this and the conclusions are accurate, early decisions around treatment and lifestyle changes may lead to longer, healthier lives.
A person who is an immune agetype may benefit from dietary, sleep, exercise, and stress reduction changes in their life. A metabolic ager may benefit from increased exercise, diet changes, and regular heart health check-ups with their primary care doctor or cardiologist.
Given the limited size of the test group and the time period studied, this research does not provide conclusive evidence that knowing your agetype, and making changes related to it, is the answer to a longer and healthier life. However, it represents a glimpse into another opportunity for medicine and science to hold the keys to higher qualities of life for all of us.
More information on the study can be found here.