Scientists have cited eight health measures that can slow down the body’s aging process by six years.
Controlling body weight, blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure while maintaining healthy sleep and diet, engaging in regular physical activity and not smoking could slow the aging process by about six years, studies suggest. American experts.
One study suggests that following these steps promotes good heart health, which can slow the rate of biological aging by up to six years.
The findings, based on data from more than 6,500 adults with an average age of 47, are being presented at the American Heart Association (AHA) scientific conference in Philadelphia.
The researchers said that people with the best cardiovascular health were about six years younger biologically – the rate at which they age for each year alive – than their actual age.
“These findings help us understand the link between chronological age and biological age and how following healthy lifestyle habits can help us live longer,” said Donald Lloyd-Jones, president of the research group. writing of The essentials of life 8the AHA Health Assessment Tool.
“Everyone wants to live longer, but more importantly, we want to live longer in better health so that we can really enjoy and have a good quality of life for as many years as possible,” said Lloyd-Jones, former volunteer president of the AHA.
Life’s Essential 8 aims to define heart health based on four editable lifestyle metrics and four editable health markers.
To measure a person’s phenotypic or biological age, researchers checked their metabolism, organ function and inflammation.
Phenotypic age acceleration is the difference between a person’s biological age and their actual age, with higher values indicating more rapid biological aging.
After taking into account social, economic and demographic factors, the researchers said that having the highest Life’s Essential 8 score – meaning having good cardiovascular health – was associated with a biological age around six years older. young.
The study’s lead author, Nour Makarem, assistant professor of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York, said: “We found that better Cardiovascular health is associated with slowed biological aging, as measured by phenotypic age.
“We also discovered a dose-dependent association: as heart health improves, biological aging decreases. »
For example, the average real age of heart-healthy people was 41, while their average biological age was 36; and the actual average age of those with poor cardiovascular health was 53, although their average biological age was 57.
Makarem said: “Greater adherence to all the essential parameters of life and improving your cardiovascular health can slow down your body’s aging process and have many long-term benefits. »
The eight health measures cited by the American Heart Association:
Be more active
Maintain a healthy weight
Monitor blood sugar
Managing blood pressure