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Anthropological Review

The Journal of Polish Anthropological Society

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Longitudinal and cross-sectional changes with age in selected anthropometric and physiological traits in hospitalized adults: an insight from the Polish Longitudinal Study of Aging (PLSA)

Piotr Chmielewski
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine, Wrocław Medical University, T. Chałubińskiego 6a, 50-368 Wrocław
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  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Krzysztof Borysławski
  • Department of Anthropology, Institute of Biology, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Krzysztof Chmielowiec
  • Regional Psychiatric Hospital for People with Mental Disorders, Cibórz, Lubuskie Province, Poland
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Jolanta Chmielowiec
Published Online: 2015-12-17 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/anre-2015-0025


Longitudinal studies of aging concerning individuals with comparable lifestyle, diet, health profile, socioeconomic status, and income remain extraordinarily rare. The purposes of our ongoing project are as follows: (i) to collect extensive data on biological and medical aspects of aging in the Polish population, (ii) to determine factors affecting the rate and course of aging, (iii) to understand how aging unfolds as a dynamic and malleable process in ontogeny, and (iv) to find novel predictors of longevity. Our investigation followed 142 physically healthy asylum inmates, including 68 males and 74 females, for at least 25 years from the age of 45 years onward. Cross-sectional assessment involved 225 inmates, including 113 males and 112 females. All the patients lived for a very long time under similar and good environmental conditions at the hospital in Cibórz, Lubuskie Province. They maintained virtually the same daily schedule and lifestyle. The rate and direction of changes with age in selected anthropometric and physiological traits were determined using ANOVA, t-test, and regression analysis. There were sex differences in the rate and pattern of age-related changes in certain characteristics such as relative weight, red blood cell count, monocyte count, thymol turbidity value, systolic blood pressure, and body temperature. Body weight, the body mass index (BMI), and total bilirubin level increased with advancing age, while body height decreased with age in both sexes. In conclusion, the aging process was associated with many regressive alterations in biological traits in both sexes but the rate and pattern of these changes depended on biological factors such as age and sex. There were only few characteristics which did not change significantly during the period under study. On the basis of comparison between the pattern of longitudinal changes with aging and the pattern of cross-sectional changes with age in the analyzed traits, we were able to predict which pattern of changes is associated with longer lifespan.

Keywords: aging; senescence; changes with age; longitudinal study; cross-sectional study; lifespan; longevity


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About the article

Received: 2015-06-06

Accepted: 2015-10-12

Published Online: 2015-12-17

Published in Print: 2015-12-01

Citation Information: Anthropological Review, Volume 78, Issue 3, Pages 317–336, ISSN (Online) 2083-4594, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/anre-2015-0025.

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Piotr Chmielewski, Bartłomiej Strzelec, Krzysztof Borysławski, Krzysztof Chmielowiec, Jolanta Chmielowiec, and Paweł Dąbrowski
Anthropological Review, 2016, Volume 79, Number 3

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