A Comparison of Biomarkers in Two Populations: The U.S. and Japan

Eileen Crimmins, University of Southern California
Yasuhiko Saito, Nihon University
Jung Ki Kim, University of Southern California
Sarinnapha Vasunilashorn, University of Southern California

Japan has the longest life expectancy in the world, while the U.S. only ranks in the top 30. One of the earliest signs in a population of deteriorating health with age is the onset of biological risk factors. We compare biological risk in Japan (Japanese Nutrition Survey Report 2004) with that in the U.S. (NHANES 1999-2004) to understand possible paths to long life expectancy in the Japanese and relatively short life expectancy among Americans. Across age groups, Japan exhibited lower lipid levels including triglycerides, total cholesterol and risk levels of high-density lipoproteins. Americans also had higher risk levels of albumin and glycosylated hemoglobin, and they were more likely to take medication for both hypertension and cholesterol than the Japanese. On the other hand, the Japanese had higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure. This study indicates that the levels of biological risk are not always more favorable among the Japanese.

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Presented in Session 105: Understanding Health and Mortality Using Biomarkers