1 Apr, 2024 @ 15:27
1 min read

This is the age when people can officially call you ‘old’, according to scientists – but do YOU agree?

SCIENTISTS have revealed the age when people can officially call you ‘old’- and it’s not what you expect. 

Many people believe think ‘old age’ starts a lot sooner than it does. Photo by Julia Vivcharyk on Unsplash

READ MORE: Oldest working painter in Spain dies at 111: Daughter reveals the secrets to his longevity – after he incredibly survived being shot in the head during the Spanish Civil War

Getting old is part of life. 

Creaky joints, wrinkles and poor hearing are all markers that you are reaching your golden years. 

But what age does science actually say is ‘old’?

A study by prestigious magazine, Nature, has shed new light on the topic. 

Led by the University of Stanford, the research revealed ageing does not actually begin in your sixties, as many believe. 

Scientifically, old age begins at 78 years old.  

READ MORE: Twin sisters turn 100 in Spain: Manuela and Isabel say keeping active is the key to longevity – and Manuela’s 102-year-old husband agrees

The research was based on over 4263 blood plasma donations from people aged 18 to 95. 

It showed that at 78, the levels of certain proteins in blood plasma began to change dramatically, suggesting accelerated ageing. 

These proteins play a key role in cell function and although we have almost constant levels throughout our lives, they begin to gradually fall or even completely stop once ‘old age’ is reached. 

The lack of proteins inhibits DNA’s ability to repair itself so essential organs are more vulnerable to effects of ageing. 

According to Tony Wyss-Coray, one of the lead researchers of the study, ‘when protein levels significantly change, it means you have also changed.’ 

Not only do the results challenge societal expectations of ageing, but give us important insight into the effects of ageing on health and wellbeing.

READ MORE: The oldest woman in Spain – and the world – celebrates her 117th birthday today

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