The Role of Biological Age in Cardiovascular Disease

REVIEW, February 2011, VOL I ISSUE III, ISSN 2042-4884
10.5083/ejcm.20424884.35 , Cite or Link Using DOI
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Eugeniusz Hrycek, MD & Wojciech Wojakowski, MD

ABSTRACT

Age is an important prognostic factor in both primary and secondary prevention of coronary heart disease. The progress in molecular biology resulted in theintroduction of the notion of biological age which facilitates the objective estimation of the organism’s regenerative potential. The purpose of this paper is to review the effects of several aspects of biological age on the development and progression of coronary heart disease. The term biological age is defined and its markers are characterised. The influence of risk factors for coronary heart disease and heart failure on biological age is also discussed. Special emphasis is placed on the clinical aspects of cellular senescence in cardiovascular system.

Age is an important prognostic factor in both primary and secondary prevention of coronary heart disease. Age considerations are inherent in several tools used for risk quantification including the Score, Grace or Framingham Risk Scores. Investigations into molecular mechanisms of regeneration resulted in the introduction of the notion of biological age, which is a determinant of the regenerative potential of an organism. Defining the biological age consists of the determination of a number of biological age markers including telomeres – complexes of nucleic acids and chromatin - stabilising proteins. Cellular senescence induces proportional telomere shortening, a characteristics that helps define the biological age. Other molecular markers that reveal the biological age are cell cycle regulator proteins (p53, p16, p27) and senescence-associated beta-galactosidase (SA-β-gal).