“Why your chronological age doesn’t tell your doctor much about you” – The Washington Post

chronological age

by Gabriella Boston

“‘You look young for your age.’ Aside from being flattering, the sentence also highlights the fact that we can inhabit two ages at once: chronological age and biological age. Chronological age dictates the number of birthday candles we blow out every year, while biological age is a measure of our physiological state compared to other people with the same number of annual growth rings.

“‘It’s not all that helpful to talk about chronological age,’ says Laurie Archbald-Pannone, a physician who specializes in geriatrics at the University of Virginia Health System. ‘It doesn’t tell us how resilient the body is.’ To put it another way: Chronological age has very little to do with our actual physical well-being.

“For example, a 50-year-old smoker can have the lung capacity of an 80-year-old, says Todd Miller, associate professor in exercise and nutrition sciences at George Washington University. ‘In other words, the 50-year-old smoker has the lung age of an 80-year-old,’ Miller says.”

Click here to read this Washington Post article in its entirety.

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