H-SCAN Physical Age Test
The H-SCAN was the original test that looked beyond chronological age – and instead measured human functional and biological age based on criteria such as lung capacity & hearing. The H-SCAN is discontinued, but you can purchase it’s successor, the AgeMeter.
Functions that contribute to quality of life.
Quality of life depends on the ability to function. Beginning at about age 35, declines occur in functions that are essential for the activities of daily living. The H-SCAN measures 12 of the most important of these, including memory, reactions, hearing, vision, agility, decision speed, movement speed, tactile sense, and lung function.
By measuring such biomarkers of aging and comparing scores to norms by age and sex, the H-SCAN determines a person’s functional age for the 12 age tests, as opposed to his or her chronological age. In 1959, Hollingsworth, studying survivors of the Hiroshima bomb, introduced the use of biomarkers to measure human aging. Today, the H-SCAN is the most widely used instrument for this purpose.
Functional declines proceed at different rates in different individuals. Genetic factors play a role, but so does environment, diet, and life style, providing evidence that intervention in the aging process is possible. Originally developed as a research tool to test interventions in aging, the H-SCAN now finds application in clinical practices with a focus on aging.
Automatic test administration.
In general, clinic staff is needed only to bring the participant to the instrument, enter a few items of information, and collect the automatic printouts at the end. Besides saving staff costs, the object has been to achieve greater reproducibility of data through uniformity of procedures and instructions.
The H-SCAN Biomarkers
Auditory Reaction Time
How quickly can one respond to an auditory stimulus
Highest Audible Pitch
Visual Reaction Time
Muscle Movement Time
Decision Reaction Time
Decision Movement Time
August, 2002, various CBS Affiliates: A test called the H-SCAN can measure internal or biological age, based on several criteria. Lung capacity, vision and hearing, reaction time and memory are all tell tale signs of age. Doctors say the test, which takes about an hour, is as reliable as a lie detector.
- August, 2002, various Fox Affiliates: (Click to See Atlanta Affiliate Video) A test called the H-SCAN can measure internal or biological age, based on several criteria. Lung capacity, vision and hearing, reaction time and memory are all tell tale signs of age. Doctors say the test, which takes about an hour, is as reliable as a lie detector.
- June, 2004, Biomarkers of aging cites the study for which the H-SCAN was developed: “The optimal goal would be to obtain a panel of functional biomarkers of aging … At least one such attempt to do this has already been reported (55 [Hochschild R. Can an index of aging be constructed for evaluating treatments to retard aging rates? A 2,462 person study. J Gerontol Biol Sci. 1990;45:B187-B214.])”
- March 20, 2006, By Arlene Weintraub: Our intrepid reporter takes the test of time. It doesn’t matter how you feel – the H-SCAN will tell you how old you really are.
How the H-SCAN biomarkers were chosen and validated.
Unlike blood and other biochemical tests, no explanation is needed to recognize that memory, lung function, reaction time, hearing, vision, muscle movement, and so on, are involved in virtually all mental or physical activities all day long, and that the ability to function effectively in these respects is synonymous with successful living and aging.
The H-SCAN age tests were the subject of the largest published study of biomarkers of aging to date. The subject population was comprised of 2,462 employees of 17 U.S. life insurance companies. In order to avoid an interest-in-health bias, as is typical of volunteers, all participants were non-volunteers. The study was designed to:
(1) test the validity of the 12 H-SCAN biomarkers of aging;
(2) provided norms and statistical measures for each of the age tests;
(3) determine separately by sex how 17 dietary, life style, environmental, and genetic factors, (including smoking, exercise, and red meat consumption) relate to the rate of biological aging.
For a copy of this 28 page report (Journal of Gerontology [Biological Science] 45(6):B187-214; 1990) click this link.
- TAILORING: The 12-function assessment provided by the H-SCAN helps health professionals to tailor therapeutic approaches to the individual.
- MONITORING: Repeating the age tests over months or years allows monitoring of changes in individual functions and functional age.
- MOTIVATING: Learning one. s functional age is a great stimulus to action, no matter what the result. Participants are more apt to stay with a therapy program and put forth the effort required when their goal is to shoot for retest.