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Approved research

Biomarkers, lifestyle and body composition in relation to healthy aging

Principal Investigator: Professor Xianbo Wu
Approved Research ID: 55794
Approval date: February 4th 2020

Lay summary

Interventions to delay aging and promote healthy ageing are still controversial. Observational studies have revealed that within a homogeneous population sample, there are considerable variations in the extent of disease and functional impairment risk, highlighting a need for valid biomarkers to aid in characterizing the complex aging processes. However, the identification of biomarkers is complicated by the diversity of living situations, lifestyle activities, medical condition or even body fat composition. Hence, there has been no identification of a single biomarker or gold standard tool that can characterize successful or healthy aging. UK biobank has collected extensive information through questionnaires and physical measurements, as well as biological samples and imaging examinations, which can provide many different types of biomarkers (eg, biochemical, genetic or radiomics) that might shed light on healthy ageing. Moreover, the UK biobank has detailed data on the incidence of various diseases during follow-up. The present proposal is focusing on exploring the associations of molecular, image-based or DNA-based biomarkers with ageing related health risks (cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, cognitive impairment, etc.). We also plan to examine if the links differ by different lifestyle factors and levels of body composition. The results will have important clinical and public health implications.