Health- and Disease-Related Biomarkers in Aging Research

This article focuses on a synthesis of knowledge about healthy aging research in human beings and then synthesized nurse-led research in gerontology and geriatrics that use biomarkers. Healthy aging research has attracted considerable attention in the biomedical and basic sciences within the context of four major areas: (a) genetic variations as an expression of successful or unsuccessful aging; (b) caloric restriction as an intervention to slow the progression of aging; (c) immunological aging; (d) neurobiology of the aging brain. A systematic review of the literature was performed to identify nurse-led geriatric-related biomarker research. Nurse researchers who have chosen to integrate biomarkers as part of their research studies have been working in six focal areas, which are reviewed: health promotion within risk populations, cancer, vascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, caregiving, and complementary therapies. The article provides a discussion of contributions to date, identifying existing gaps and future research opportunities.