Approaches to producing a biomarker of aging based on assessing levels of many proteins in the blood, and how those levels change with aging, are under development by a number of research groups. This paper should be considered a demonstration of methodology only, as a great deal of further work would be required to show that the relationships discovered here also apply across broader human populations. Still, it seems likely that proteomic analogies to the epigenetic clocks developed in recent years do in fact exist.
The challenge with all of these biomarkers and potential biomarkers is to connect them to the underlying causes of aging. If the end result of a test is just a number that represents how far removed one is from the average result across the population at a given age, then what action should be taken when that result shows a higher rather than lower physiological age? Presently there is no good answer to that question, and therein lies the problem.
Despite its importance for health, most epidemiological research considers aging merely as a confounder, a nuance dimension to be accounted for and then discarded, under the assumption that aging is
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