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Is Myelodysplasia a Consequence of Normal Aging?

Purpose of Review

To review available data on the relationship of MDS and aging and to address the question if biological changes of (premature) aging are a prerequisite for the development of MDS.

Recent Findings

Whereas the association of MDS with advanced age and some common biologic features of aging and MDS are well established, additional evidence for both, especially on the role of stem cells, the stem cell niche, and inflammation, has been recently described.


Biologically, many but not all drivers of aging also play a role in the development and propagation of MDS and vice versa. As a consequence, aging contributes to the development of MDS which can be seen as an interplay of clonal disease and normal and premature aging. The impact of aging may be different in specific MDS subtypes and risk groups.

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