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A recent report in the British Medical Journal highlights a concerning trend: cancers that usually afflict older individuals are now rising among those under 50, termed early-onset cancers. Between 1990 and 2019, there was an 80% increase in the early onset of 29 types of cancers, with an eight percent rise in associated deaths. While lifestyle and environmental factors are believed to play a role, the specific causes remain unclear. However, researchers have identified a potential link worth exploring further.

Millennials experiencing accelerated aging

The recent study from the University of Washington School of Medicine suggests that accelerated biological aging might be contributing to the onset of early cancers. The research indicates that individuals born after 1965 experience faster biological aging than those born before 1965. This group was found to be 17 percent more likely to have a biological age surpassing their chronological age than those born between 1950 and 1954.

The research examined nine biomarkers in 148,000 UK residents, including measurements like blood pressure and laboratory tests on blood samples. Biomarkers are vital for understanding links between environmental factors, biology, and disease. The analyzed biomarkers from blood samples were Albumin, Alkaline phosphatase, Creatinine, C-reactive protein, Glucose, Mean corpuscular volume, Red cell distribution width, White blood cell count, and Lymphocyte proportion.

Accelerated aging linked to early onset of cancers

The study found that accelerated aging, where biological age surpasses chronological age, is linked to higher risks of early-onset cancers such as lung, gastrointestinal, and uterine cancers. Accelerated aging also increases the risk of late-onset gastrointestinal and uterine cancers. Lifestyle factors like obesity, lack of exercise, smoking, alcohol, and stress contribute to cancer risk.

Maintaining good heart health is crucial for overall well-being and can potentially slow down aging by up to six years. The American Heart Association’s “Life’s Essential 8” offers practical guidelines for improving heart health. These include adopting a healthy eating pattern, engaging in regular physical activity, quitting tobacco and vaping, ensuring adequate sleep, managing weight, controlling cholesterol levels, monitoring blood glucose, and maintaining healthy blood pressure.