DNA analysis reveals 60-year-old person can have genetic age of above 100 or around 20

  • New study finds that the some people who are in their 60s have a genetic age of 20-year-old

  • Some people age so fast that their bodies can be 50 years older than them

When someone asks you that "What is your age," the answer will always be the numbers of years passed since your birth which is actually the chronological age. But your biological age could be the same or different, said scientists earlier. Now the scientists stated that some people who are in their 60s have a genetic age of 20-year-old. How is that possible?

New research

Scientists said that they compared estimated biological ages of 4,000 people with their chronological age. As per the findings, some people in their 60s had subtle chemical changes in their DNA that boosted their internal age to around 114, while some individuals appeared to be in their 20s.

Dr Eileen Crimmins, professor of gerontology at the University of Southern California told Express that some 57-year-old people or older ones look like they're in their twenties, while some people look like they're over 100, and there is a big range in between.

"We think that adverse social experiences can change your epigenetic profile in ways that may subsequently influence your health adversely. There were people who looked 36 years younger, while some look 48 years older," said Crimmins.

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A carer feeds a resident on a wheelchair at the private nursing home "Silver Villa Koyama" in Tokyo, Japan, September 14, 2016. Picture taken on September 14, 2016. REUTERS

What has the research revealed?

For the study, the scientist used three models of epigenetic "clocks" to estimate biological age. It was mentioned by the researcher that obesity was the biggest driver of internal ageing, while smoking, childhood health problems and psychological troubles also have some impacts. It should be mentioned that women naturally had a biological age one to two years younger compared to men.

Crimmins presented her research findings at the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Seattle where she mentioned that it was important to understand how life experiences can make people old before time. Many people believe that people age at the same rate, but the new study suggested that lifestyle changes could help to reduce someone's biological age.

As per Crimmins, "Epigenetic age may be changeable with behavioural changes. For example, if obesity raises epigenetic age, losing weight may lower it. People do hope to move some of these findings to clinical trials."