By Zoe Papadakis – Re-Blogged From Newsmax Health
Can a blood test tell when you will die? Scientists at Yale University now believe they can predict a person’s life expectancy based on the results of a simple new test.
It all has to do with determining the biological age of a person’s body, Newsweek reported.
And the Yale scientists believe they can determine the biological age of a person’s body based on nine biomarkers found in the blood, The Guardian reported.
Details of the test were outlined in a study published in the biological sciences archive bioRxiv.
The test was developed around information accumulated from 42 clinical measures that were initially documented in participants of the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
Scientists created a test homing in on nine biomarkers based upon a study that collected data on 10,000 people between 1988 to 1994. They validated this method against a second study involving 11,000, which ran from 1999 to 2010.
What they found was that a person’s risk of dying increased for every year that their “phenotypic age” rose.
For those aged between 20 to 39, their risk of dying increased by 14 percent for every year, while for those aged 45 to 65, the risk went up by 10 percent. People aged between 65 and 84 saw an eight percent increase.
Those who aged fastest had more disease than those ageing at a slower pace.
So, a person may appear to be 60 but, because of various environmental factors and lifestyle habits picked up by the biomarkers, their physiology actually may be closer to that of a 70-years-old person.
This means the person may be more at risk of certain illnesses, diseases and even death, but they may not be aware of it.
“We showed that even among people who have no diseases, who are presumably healthy, we can still pick up differences in life expectancy,” said Morgan Levine, a pathologist at Yale. “It’s capturing something preclinical, before any diseases present themselves.”
Not only can the test calculate the biological age of a person’s body and measure their life expectancy accordingly, it can also determine factors that are contributing to the person’s ageing. Doctors can suggest lifestyle changes that could reduce health problems.
“The biggest advantage of this is now being able to say someone’s at high risk, and that they should come in regularly so you can make sure they’re not developing this or that disease,” Levine said, according to The Guardian. “It’ll show you how can you reduce their risk because you can plug all the numbers in and see how the risk drops if they bring their glucose down, for example.”
“At younger ages most people aren’t going to die, you have to be a pretty extreme case. And it’s easier to figure out who those people are,” said Levine, according to The Guardian. “But at the older ages, it becomes a little more random who is going to die, it’s almost about bad luck.”
Levine said the scientists wanted to “understand the risks for the majority of the population who are middle aged, who don’t have things wrong with them, and would be missed with traditional health assessments.”