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Techniques for assessing biological age in children are well established and widely used. However, little attention has been devoted to assessing biological age in adulthood. This paper describes a new approach to this problem, utilizing a profile of 24 age-related physical parameters. The cross-sectional data in this study were collected from 1086 male participants in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of the National Institute on Aging. For this analysis it was hypothesized that physically active men would be biologically more youthful than inactive men. Participants were grouped as active or inactive on the basis of three different physical activity variables and these subpopulations were compared for biological age status. In general, active men were biologically younger than inactive men, and findings were significant for lung function and psychomotor performance. Mulitple regression analyses demonstrated that activity still contributed significantly to biological age, even when physical health, weight, and educational attainment were held constant. Although these results indicate an association between physical activity and aging, cause and effect cannot be concluded from this cross-sectional analysis. Nevertheless, the biological age profile provides a readily adaptable method for field research on variation in human aging between populations.


Pp. 796 and 798: Fig. 2 and Fig. 3 should be transposed. P. 793: Table 2. First line, mean should read - .047