Early-Life Programming of Aging and Longevity: The Idea of High Initial Damage Load (the HIDL Hypothesis)


Address for correspondence: Leonid A. Gavrilov, Center on Aging, NORC/University of Chicago, 1155 East 60th Street, Chicago, IL 60637-2745. Voice: 773-256-6359; fax: 773-256-6313. gavrilov@longevity-science.org


Abstract: In this study, we test the predictions of the high initial damage load (HIDL) hypothesis, a scientific idea that early development of living organisms produces an exceptionally high load of initial damage, which is comparable with the amount of subsequent aging-related deterioration accumulating during the rest of the entire adult life. This hypothesis predicts that even small progress in optimizing the early-developmental processes can potentially result in a remarkable prevention of many diseases in later life, postponement of aging-related morbidity and mortality, and significant extension of healthy life span.