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Approved Research

Biochemical signatures of lean mass and biological age

Principal Investigator: Dr Thomas Wood
Approved Research ID: 70960
Approval date: May 17th 2021

Lay summary

Slowing the rate of ageing and reducing age-related chronic disease (such as heart disease and dementia) is perhaps the most important public health mission of the 21st century. In order to do this we need better ways to track how fast somebody is ageing before they develop significant disease. PhenoAge is a metric of biological age, rather than chronological age, which reproducibly and strongly predicts both disease risk and risk of death. However, another important predictor of longevity is activity, strength, and muscle mass. Some of the tests used to predict increased biological age with PhenoAge also increase in those who exercise more or have more muscle mass, so this project aims to see whether having more muscle makes you look "older" on PhenoAge when in fact it should do the opposite - reduce the risk of death and chronic disease. If that is the case, the research will provide updated predictions that are more accurate after taking into account how much muscle mass somebody has. This will be useful to both the public tracking their own health and doctors, scientists and public health officials who may implement tracking of biological age in response to drug or lifestyle interventions.