Fast-Aging Speeds Up Cancer Risk, Study Warns

The study investigated whether accelerated ageing which refers to a person's biological age is higher than their chronological age.
Fast-Aging Speeds Up Cancer Risk, Study Warns
Fast-Aging Speeds Up Cancer Risk, Study Warnsgoogle

Research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting 2024 suggests that rapid aging in newer births may be linked to an increased risk of early-onset solid tumors. Ruiyi Tian, a graduate student at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, emphasized the importance of understanding this phenomenon for enhancing cancer prevention and early detection methods among younger adults.

Tian and colleagues conducted a study aiming to explore whether accelerated aging, where a person's biological age surpasses their chronological age, could contribute to the onset of early-onset cancers. Analyzing data from 148,724 individuals in the UK Biobank database, they assessed biological age using nine blood biomarkers.

The findings revealed that individuals born in or after 1965 had a 17% higher likelihood of accelerated aging compared to those born between 1950 and 1954. Additionally, accelerated aging was associated with an increased risk of early-onset solid tumors.

Each standard deviation increase in accelerated aging was linked to a 42% higher risk of early-onset lung cancer, a 22% higher risk of early-onset gastrointestinal cancer, and a 36% higher risk of early-onset uterine cancer.

Tian suggested that interventions aimed at slowing biological aging could present a novel approach to cancer prevention. Screening efforts targeting younger individuals exhibiting signs of accelerated biological aging could facilitate early cancer detection.

However, Tian acknowledged limitations to the study, such as the UK-based sample, which may restrict the generalizability of the findings to other populations with different genetic backgrounds and lifestyles.

Moving forward, Tian and her team plan to delve into the mechanisms underlying fast biological aging and early-onset cancers to develop tailored prevention strategies.

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