Project Summary

Long-term medication use may affect how we age. We will examine how commonly used medicines, such as those used to treat chronic pain, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes, are associated with biological indicators of age. Biological indicators of age such as laboratory tests, genetic markers, imaging, and physical measures can be used to tell if a person’s body is older or younger than their actual or chronological age. 

For this study we are utilising UK Biobank data to examine participants who have used specific medicines and how this relates to biological indicators of aging compare to their chronological age. We will also compare how different medicines used to treat the same condition may differ in terms of their association with biological indicators of aging. Having a good understanding of the long-term impacts of different medicines on ageing is important to ensure the health of people treated with these medicines, especially as many countries continue to see an increasing aging population.    

Project Date

June 2022 - Dec 2025


Project Lead


Prof David Preen - University of Western Australia

Dr Derrick Lopez - University of Western Australia

Dr Frank Sanfilippo - University of Western Australia 

Dr Amy Page - University of Western Australia

A/Prof Christopher Blyth - University of Western Australia

Dr Renly Lim - University of South Australia 

Prof Nicole Pratt - University of South Australia 

Ms Ramya Padmavathy Radha Krishnan - University of Sydney


Research Question

Is the long-term use of medications associated with ageing?  

Data Sources

UK Biobank 

Policy Implications

  • The project may identify additional risks and benefits associated with the long-term medication that may alter their prescribing and use.  

  • Aging is associated with diverse array of health conditions (e.g. cancer, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and dementia). 

  • The study may provide evidence to support an association between certain medications and an increase or decrease in age related conditions.    

  • Understanding which medicines can accelerate aging will better allow health providers to manage this risk or reduce the effects of aging through interventions like regular surveillance and rehabilitation, de-prescribing, or medication swapping.  

  • Dependent on findings, this work is likely to gain significant international attention and media interest

End Users

  • Prescribers 
  • Patients (typically aged +40 years)


Stay tuned

This section will be updated throughout the project. Please return in the future to see the impact from this project.