Using blood test parameters to define biological age among older adults: association with morbidity and mortality independent of chronological age validated in two separate birth cohorts

Johanna Drewelies*, Gizem Hueluer, Sandra Duezel, Valentin Max Vetter, Graham Pawelec, Elisabeth Steinhagen-Thiessen, Gert G. Wagner, Ulman Lindenberger, Christina M. Lill, Lars Bertram, Denis Gerstorf, Ilja Demuth

*Corresponding author for this work
    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Biomarkers defining biological age are typically laborious or expensive to assess. Instead, in the current study, we identified parameters based on standard laboratory blood tests across metabolic, cardiovascular, inflammatory, and kidney functioning that had been assessed in the Berlin Aging Study (BASE) (n = 384) and Berlin Aging Study II (BASE-II) (n = 1517). We calculated biological age using those 12 parameters that individually predicted mortality hazards over 26 years in BASE. In BASE, older biological age was associated with more physician-observed morbidity and higher mortality hazards, over and above the effects of chronological age, sex, and education. Similarly, in BASE-II, biological age was associated with physician-observed morbidity and subjective health, over and above the effects of chronological age, sex, and education as well as alternative biomarkers including telomere length, DNA methylation age, skin age, and subjective age but not PhenoAge. We discuss the importance of biological age as one indicator of aging.

    Original languageEnglish
    Issue number6
    Pages (from-to)2685-2699
    Number of pages15
    Publication statusPublished - 12.2022

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