Psychological factors substantially contribute to biological aging: evidence from the aging rate in Chinese older adults

We have developed a deep learning aging clock using blood test data from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study, which has a mean absolute error of 5.68 years. We used the aging clock to demonstrate the connection between the physical and psychological aspects of aging. The clock detects accelerated aging in people with heart, liver, and lung conditions. We demonstrate that psychological factors, such as feeling unhappy or being lonely, add up to 1.65 years to one’s biological age, and the aggregate effect exceeds the effects of biological sex, living area, marital status, and smoking status.

We conclude that the psychological component should not be ignored in aging studies due to its significant impact on biological age.