Enroth S, Enroth SB, Johansson Å, Gyllensten U
Sci Rep 5 (1) 17282 [2015-12-01; online 2015-12-01]
Ageing is linked to a number of changes in how the body and its organs function. On a molecular level, ageing is associated with a reduction of telomere length, changes in metabolic and gene-transcription profiles and an altered DNA-methylation pattern. Lifestyle factors such as smoking or stress can impact some of these molecular processes and thereby affect the ageing of an individual. Here we demonstrate by analysis of 77 plasma proteins in 976 individuals, that the abundance of circulating proteins accurately predicts chronological age, as well as anthropometrical measurements such as weight, height and hip circumference. The plasma protein profile can also be used to identify lifestyle factors that accelerate and decelerate ageing. We found smoking, high BMI and consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages to increase the predicted chronological age by 2-6 years, while consumption of fatty fish, drinking moderate amounts of coffee and exercising reduced the predicted age by approximately the same amount. This method can be applied to dried blood spots and may thus be useful in forensic medicine to provide basic anthropometrical measures for an individual based on a biological evidence sample.