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09/17/2014 10:20 am ET Updated Sep 17, 2014

A New Way To Measure Aging

Terry Vine via Getty Images

Pediatricians chart children’s growth at every visit, tracking how they conform to age-appropriate standards. What if standard measures of aging were similarly available?

Warren Sanderson, a professor of social and behavioral sciences at Stony Brook University, is working on ways to define aging other than the passing of years. With colleagues at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Laxenburg, Austria, he recently published a study showing that the strength of an adult’s hand grip can distinguish different rates of aging in people with varying levels of education. The conversation below has been condensed and edited for space and clarity.

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