A new groundbreaking genetic test that can predict whether a person is likely to live long enough to see their 100th birthday has been developed by scientists in Boston...
A new groundbreaking genetic test that can predict whether a person is likely to live long enough to see their 100th birthday has been developed by scientists in Boston.
Lifespan is governed by a complex interplay of genes, lifestyle and environment with factors like smoking, diet, exercise and pollution all having a role, but many scientists believe that living beyond the mid-nineties is largely down to the inheritance of good genes.
‘These families might share healthy lifestyles, but it also suggests that there is a strong genetic background to exceptional longevity‘ said Professor Paola Sebastiani, a biostatistician at Boston University.
Researchers at the University claim that the test can identify those who can look forward to an exceptionally long life with a 77% accuracy rate based on genetics alone.
Scientists identified 150 DNA sequence variations called single nucleotide polymorphisms among those 100 years old and above that may have contributed to their healthy aging. In the control group, 15% of participants had longevity-associated genes suggesting that 15% of the American population are predisposed to live to be 100.
‘If we can pinpoint genetic variants that delay the onset of diseases, it could have very important medical implications for the population in general’ said Sebastiani.
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However, researchers noted that despite the high accuracy rate, there are still 23% of centenarians who do not have the predisposed genetic signatures suggesting environmental factors are still relevant.
If you were going to live to 100, would you really want to know? Would this information encourage you to enjoy life while you can or would it give you the impetus to take better care of yourself? Let us know your thoughts below…