Biomarkers of aging: from primitive organisms to humans

J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2004 Jun;59(6):B560-7. doi: 10.1093/gerona/59.6.b560.


Leading biologists and clinicians interested in aging convened to discuss biomarkers of aging. The goals were to come to a consensus, construct an agenda for future research, and make appropriate recommendations to policy makers and the public-at-large. While there was not total agreement on all issues, they addressed a number of questions, among them whether biomarkers can be identified and used to measure the physiological age of any individual within a population, given emerging information about aging and new technological advances. The hurdles to establishing informative biomarkers include the biological variation between individuals that makes generalizations difficult; the overlapping of aging and disease processes; uncertainty regarding benign versus pathogenic age-related changes; the point at which a process begins to do damage to the organism, and, if so, when does it occur; and when to distinguish critical damage from noncritical damage. Finally, and significantly, it is difficult to obtain funding for this research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Policy Making
  • Research


  • Biomarkers