Predicting well-being before you age

Source: Frontiers in Endocrinology, 2022
Predicting well-being before you age
Ljupco Smokovski

Ageing is a normal and natural process of life. But what varies from individual to individual is how people age. Some people age only in chronological years but for others it means onset of various illnesses like heart disease, Diabetes, high blood pressure, loss of memory, weaker bone strength and other health issues which often require considerable care and cost to manage.

Scientists are looking to study if it is possible to determine in early adulthood whether people are at risk of a health issue as they age. If this could be known beforehand then it would be possible to take preventive action during early adulthood itself.

Researchers looked at data from the European Male Ageing Study which had recruited 3,369 men between the ages of 40 and 79 and followed them for four to five years. The study sought to examine if onset of age-related diseases was related to decrease in levels of anabolic hormones such as testosterone. Testosterone is the primary sex hormone and anabolic steroid in males. Its key role in the development of male reproductive tissues and promoting secondary sexual characteristics such as increased muscle and bone mass and body hair growth.

Scientists studied the INSL3 which is an insulin like hormone produced mainly in reproductive glands. They analysed whether there was a corelation between INSL3 levels in stored blood samples that were taken at the beginning and end of the study and the incidence of self-reported age-related illness. The study published in the journal Frontiers in Endocrinology showed that INSL3 levels varied in men. Those with high INSL3 had a lower risk of illness while those with low INSL3 were at a higher risk of heart disease, Diabetes, loss of sexual function and bone weakness.

As INSL3 levels remain consistent in blood over years, scientists were able to determine that low INSL3 levels seen in men in their 20s and 30s would significantly increase their risk of age-related illness.

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