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How Old Are You REALLY?

How Old Are You REALLY?

I am celebrating a birthday this month. Often, when people know that, the braver souls venture forth and ask me “how old will you be?” Before answering that question, though, I should really consider ‘which’ age I should share. We have different ages. We have our chronological age, based on the number of years we have been alive on this earth. We have our subjective age, based on the age we personally identify with – the age that we feel we are. We have our biological age, which quantifies the rate at which your tissues, organs, and blood are aging. Everyone is familiar with our chronological age, so let’s review our subjective and biological ages. Subjective Age Satchel Paige asked a provocative question: “How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?” That is your subjective age, and it is getting a lot of attention from researchers. According to a 10 year prospective study (conducted by Yannick Stephan, Joban Caudroit, Alban Jaconelli, Antonio Terracciano,) a younger subjective age at the baseline stage of the study was associated with better episodic memory and executive function scores at follow-up stages of testing. Consistent with other studies, their participants reported feeling about 19% younger than their chronological age. A younger subjective age (SA) was…”more typical of older adults, those with higher education, lower disease burden, higher physical activity level, and lower Body Mass Index (BMI) at baseline. “ As we can see, participation in healthier lifestyles is associated with younger SA scores. Improved episodic memory may be the result of a lower likelihood of being overweight or obese,...