People Age at Very Different Rates

It's not surprising that people's bodies age at different rates, but researchers in a new study were surprised at how differently. New research reveals people’s bodies age very differently, even if they’re born only a year apart. The findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In a study published in the _Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a_n international research group analyzed 954 people from the same town of New Zealand who were all born in either 1972 or 1973. The scientists recorded different physical aging traits—such as weight, kidney function, and gum health—when the participants were 26, 32 and 38 years old.

What they found is that by the age of 38, the participants’ biological ages ranged from late-20s to almost 60 years old.

While some people seemed to practically stop aging during the study period, others aged at a rapid rate of nearly three years every 12 months. The participants with older biological age did worse on brain function tests and tended to have weaker grip strength.

The researchers said they were surprised to find such differences at such a young age, but said the results could help lead to methods for slowing the pace of aging. They also said the findings suggest that a mandatory retirement age may be unfair for those still working at their peak.

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