Scientists have claimed that they can predict if a person will live longer or shorter after looking at their DNA.
Researchers from the University of Edinburgh believe that they are predict anyone of any age a ‘lifespan score’ that will predict how much longer they will live by looking at their DNA.
“If we take 100 people at birth, or later, and use our lifespan score to divide them into ten groups, the top group will live five years longer than the bottom on average,” said researcher Peter Joshi.
The team analyzed the combined effect of genetic variations that influence lifespan to produce a scoring system. People who scored in the top 10% of the population might expect to live up to five years longer than those scoring in the lowest 10%.
The team first looked at the genetic data of over 500,000 people along with the ages at which the parents of those people died. From that comparison, the researchers were able to identify 12 parts of human genome that appeared to greatly impact their lifespan.
Some of the spots had previously known associations to diseases like Alzheimer’s or heart disease, but five of the regions were identified for the first time by the team. By analyzing the genetic variations in those 12 spots, the researchers came up with their lifespan scoring system.
The DNA sites with the largest impact on overall lifespan were those that have earlier been linked to fatal illnesses such as heart disease and smoking-related conditions. Researcher Paul Timmers said, “We found genes that affect the brain and the heart are responsible for most of the variation in lifespan.”
The initial goal of the study was to identify specific genes that directly influence aging speed, but the researchers weren’t able to find them. However, the detection of the five new regions served as a great achievement for the team, as per Futurism.
Moreover, publishing their research in the journal eLife, the scientists also believe that home DNA testing services could provide customers with their lifespan score in the future, reported Telegraph.