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Physiological Age May Be Good Predictor of Mortality

Biological age, also called physiological age, is a measure of how well or poorly your body is functioning relative to your actual calendar age. A new study suggests that physiological age may be a better predictor of mortality than chronological age.

Study participants included 126,356 patients who were referred to the Cleveland Clinic for their first exercise stress test. The test involves walking on a treadmill, which gets progressively more difficult. During the test, exercise capacity, heart rate response to exercise, and heart rate recovery are measured. The researchers developed a formula to calculate how well people exercise (their physiological age) based on the exercise stress performance. The participants were then followed for an average 8.7 years.

At the end of the follow-up period, 8% of the participants had died. The patients who died were 10 years older than those who survived. However, the researchers found that physiological age was a better predictor of mortality than chronological age, even after adjusting for sex, smoking, body mass index, statin use, diabetes, hypertension, and coronary artery disease.

Cardiologists from the Cleveland Clinic conducted the study. It was published February 13, 2019, in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
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