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Signatures of Age

Researchers have uncovered biomarker signatures that may indicate a person's risk of age-related diseases, Live Science reports.

To develop their aging signatures, researchers led by the Boston University School of Medicine's Thomas Perls analyzed 40 serum biomarkers in more than 4,700 participants in the Long Life Family Study. As they report in Aging Cell, 19 of these markers — which included IL-6, IGF1, and DHEA — changed with age and clustered into 26 signatures. They then correlated these signatures with cancer, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and mortality risk.

From this, they found that 'Signature 2' was associated with lower mortality, morbidity, and better physical function, as compared to the more common 'Signature 1', which about half the people in the study had. They confirmed these two signatures and a further eight in a Framingham Heart Study dataset.

"We can now detect and measure thousands of biomarkers from a small amount of blood, with the idea of eventually being able to predict who is at risk of a wide range of diseases, long before any clinical signs become apparent," Perls says in a statement.