Check out these 10 aging biomarkers and how they play a role in chronic disease.
You can prevent and delay many diseases through early detection and treatment.
Pay attention to these age-related markers so you can take steps today for a better tomorrow.
Download our “How Well Are You Aging?” biomarker checklist to track your individual aging markers and progress!
1. Body Mass Index (BMI)
BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight.
A BMI of 25 or higher is considered overweight, and a BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese.
People with obesity are at increased risk for many chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.
Limitations of BMI
It is important to note that BMI has limitations.
BMI does not distinguish between muscle mass and fat mass, and it does not take into account the distribution of fat.
This means that athletes and people with visceral fat may have a high BMI even though they are not overweight or obese.
2. Waist Circumference
The distribution of fat in the body, particularly around the waist, can be a strong predictor of health risks.
Even in people with a normal BMI, excess belly fat increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
Measuring your waist circumference can help you identify potential health risks and take proactive steps to address them.
A waist circumference of 35 inches or more for women and 40 inches or more for men is considered high risk.
3. Blood Pressure
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease.
Monitor your blood pressure regularly and take steps to keep it in a healthy range.
Reducing sodium intake and managing your stress level is crucial for preventing these chronic conditions.
4. Total Cholesterol
The body contains a waxy, fat-like substance known as cholesterol in all its cells.
It is essential for some bodily functions, such as making hormones and vitamin D.
However, too much cholesterol can build up in the arteries and lead to heart disease and stroke.
5. LDL Cholesterol
Low-density lipoprotein, or “bad cholesterol,” is a major contributor to the buildup of plaque in the arteries, leading to heart disease.
Regular monitoring of LDL levels can help assess your risk and guide interventions.
6. HDL Cholesterol
High-density lipoprotein, often referred to as “good cholesterol,” plays a vital role in heart health.
A higher level of HDL reduces the risk of heart disease.
Monitoring HDL levels and taking steps to increase them may prevent heart disease.
Triglycerides are a type of fat found in your blood.
Elevated triglyceride levels are associated with an increased risk of heart disease.
Lifestyle modifications, including dietary changes and regular exercise, can help lower triglycerides and prevent heart disease.
8. Hemoglobin A1c
Hemoglobin A1c is a marker of long-term blood sugar control.
Elevated levels are indicative of poorly managed blood sugar, which is a hallmark of diabetes.
Maintaining a healthy Hemoglobin A1c can prevent the development and complications of diabetes.
9. Fasting Glucose
Fasting glucose levels indicate the amount of sugar in your blood after an overnight fast.
Elevated levels can signal prediabetes or diabetes. A healthy target for fasting glucose is less than 100 mg/dL.
Monitor your fasting glucose regularly to detect early signs of diabetes and take steps to prevent it.
10. C-Reactive Protein
C-reactive protein is a marker of inflammation in the body.
Elevated CRP levels are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. A healthy target for CRP is less than 3 mg/L.
Regular monitoring of CRP can help detect chronic inflammation early.
Lifestyle changes and medical interventions can reduce inflammation and lower the risk of related diseases.
You can learn more about changes you can make to your diet to reduce inflammation in this Age-Defying Dietitian blog post – “Anti-Inflammatory Foods“.
Takeaways on Aging Biomarkers
Monitor these ten age-related markers to gain valuable insights into your health status.
Consult with your healthcare provider for personalized guidance and recommendations based on your individual health profile.
Regularly monitor these aging markers to enjoy a healthier, longer life!
Don’t forget to download your “How Well Are You Aging?” biomarker checklist to track your individual aging markers and progress!
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Kathryn is a Registered Dietitian and a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach. She is also certified through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in Weight Management. She has 20+ years of nutrition experience working in a variety of healthcare settings. Her passion is to provide evidence-based nutrition information that supports vitality and longevity!