Cardiology

Mechanisms of Vascular Aging, A Geroscience Perspective: JACC Focus Seminar



Abstract

Age-related pathological alterations of the vasculature have a critical role in morbidity and mortality of older adults. In epidemiological studies, age is the single most important cardiovascular risk factor that dwarfs the impact of traditional risk factors. To develop novel therapeutic interventions for prevention of age-related vascular pathologies, it is crucial to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of vascular aging. In this review, shared molecular mechanisms of aging are considered in terms of their contribution to the pathogenesis of macrovascular and microvascular diseases associated with old age. The role of cellular senescence in development of vascular aging phenotypes is highlighted, and potential interventions to prevent senescence and to eliminate senescent cells for prevention of vascular pathologies are presented. The evidence supporting a role for interorgan communication and circulating progeronic and antigeronic factors in vascular aging is discussed.

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