New Definition of Aging?
Measuring Regenerative Capacity in Patients
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In cardiovascular disease risk profiling, age trumps all other factors. Yet age, like beauty, has proven to be difficult to define. Every cardiovascular clinician knows that not all 60-year-olds are of the same cardiovascular age; however, we have lacked the tools to define age with more precision from a medical standpoint.
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In this issue of Circulation Research, Quyyumi et al1 provide evidence that regenerative capacity, as measured by circulating progenitor cell counts, may better define the aging process, refining our ability to define age-related cardiovascular risk according to a metric other than years.
Nearly 20 years ago, Asahara et al2 identified CD34 cells as a population enriched for cells with endothelial lineage potential, so-called endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs). There have been many subsequent attempts to rediscover the EPC using different markers or culture methods; however, no surface marker of a circulating cell has supplanted CD34 for the identification of EPCs.
Over the past 2 decades, there have been several reports revealing an association …