May 16, 2011

New Test Predicts How Long You Will Live

A new blood test is going on sale this year that will predict how long someone has to live, based on their speed of aging.

Researchers developed the $700 test that accurately measures the length of a person's telomeres, which is thought to be linked to longevity.

Telomeres are sections of DNA that cap the ends of chromosomes, protecting them from damage and the loss of cell functions associated with aging.

Life Length, a Spanish firm, developed the new commercial "death test," which it says will show people how long they have to live.

"Knowing whether our telomeres are a normal length or not for a given chronological age will give us an indication of our health status and of our physiological 'age' even before diseases appear," Maria Blasco, the head of the telomeres research at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre, in Madrid, said in a statement.

Her firm expects strong demand from people wanting to learn when they could potentially die.

Experts say it will also help develop healthy habits, improve their diet and reduce their stress.

"What is new about this test is that it is very precise," she added.

"We can detect very small differences in telomere length and it is a very simple and fast technique where many samples can be analyzed at the same time."

She said the test will go on sale later this year in Europe and the U.S.


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