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AACR: Accelerated Aging Linked to Incidence of Early-Onset Cancer

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Accelerated aging associated with increased risk for early-onset tumors, driven by lung, gastrointestinal, uterine cancers

By Elana Gotkine HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, April 9, 2024 (HealthDay News) — Accelerated aging (AA) is increasing and is associated with an increased incidence of early-onset solid tumors, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, held from April 5 to 10 in San Diego.

Ruiyi Tian, M.P.H., from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and colleagues examined the potential link between AA and onset of cancer at younger ages in a prospective cohort of 148,724 participants aged 37 to 54 years from the U.K. Biobank. By standardizing the residuals of biological age after regression against chronological age, AA was quantified.

The researchers found that 3,190 early-onset solid cancer cases occurred across 1,707,115 person-years. There was strong evidence seen for an incremental risk for AA in successive birth cohorts, after controlling for chronological age. Individuals born in 1965 and after had a 17 percent higher risk for AA compared with those born in 1950 to 1954. AA was associated with an increased risk for early-onset tumors after multivariable adjustment (hazard ratio per standard deviation, 1.08), driven by lung, gastrointestinal, and uterine cancers (hazard ratios, 1.42, 1.22, and 1.36, respectively). Those in the highest versus the lowest tertile of AA had a significantly increased risk for early-onset lung cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, and uterine cancer (hazard ratios, 2.02, 1.62, and 1.83, respectively). The associations were weaker for late-onset lung cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, and uterine cancer.

“If validated, our findings suggest that interventions to slow biological aging could be a new avenue for cancer prevention, and screening efforts tailored to younger individuals with signs of accelerated aging could help detect cancers early,” Tian said in a statement.

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