Circadian monitoring as an aging predictor

Sci Rep. 2018 Oct 9;8(1):15027. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-33195-3.


The ageing process is associated with sleep and circadian rhythm (SCR) frailty, as well as greater sensitivity to chronodisruption. This is essentially due to reduced day/night contrast, decreased sensitivity to light, napping and a more sedentary lifestyle. Thus, the aim of this study is to develop an algorithm to identify a SCR phenotype as belonging to young or aged subjects. To do this, 44 young and 44 aged subjects were recruited, and their distal skin temperature (DST), activity, body position, light, environmental temperature and the integrated variable TAP rhythms were recorded under free-living conditions for five consecutive workdays. Each variable yielded an individual decision tree to differentiate between young and elderly subjects (DST, activity, position, light, environmental temperature and TAP), with agreement rates of between 76.1% (light) and 92% (TAP). These decision trees were combined into a unique decision tree that reached an agreement rate of 95.3% (4 errors out of 88, all of them around the cut-off point). Age-related SCR changes were very significant, thus allowing to discriminate accurately between young and aged people when implemented in decision trees. This is useful to identify chronodisrupted populations that could benefit from chronoenhancement strategies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology*
  • Body Temperature
  • Circadian Clocks
  • Circadian Rhythm*
  • Decision Making
  • Decision Trees
  • Environment
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Photoperiod
  • Skin Temperature
  • Sleep