Do You Know Your Biological Age? This Blood Test Can Tell You.

You know how old you are — but do you know how old your body is?

Not everyone ages at the same rate. The aging process is associated with a number of physiological and cellular changes, not all of which are directly correlated with the number of birthdays you’ve had. Your biological age can be distinct from your chronological age, and some scientists believe that it may be a better indicator of your overall health than the year on your birth certificate.

Traditionally, scientists have measured biological age by taking a sampling of 150 of a person’s genes, which together make up the individual’s “gene signature.” But now, researchers at at Uppsala University in Sweden have developed a simple blood test that they say can reveal the body’s biological age.

Biological age is more closely linked to risk for chronic diseases and dementia than chronological age, with a high biological age indicating worse overall health. By comparing a patient’s biological age with their chronological age, doctors can get a fairly good idea of the person’s well-being.

“Most of us have all had the experience of being surprised to find out that someone is far younger than we had imagined — for instance, when an individual we thought was in their late 50s turns out to actually be in their mid-40s,” Denver physician and integrative medicine specialist Dr. Terry Grossman wrote for Everyday Health in 2009. “And, by the same token, we will occasionally discover that someone is considerably older than we had guessed. The reason for these discrepancies is often because their biological ages are different than their chronological ages.”

Doctors may one day use the blood test developed in Sweden to determine how various lifestyle factors — including diet, exercise and —> Read More