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Can a DNA test determine your life expectancy ?


Posted on Thursday, 17 January, 2019 | Comment icon 6 comments

Would you want to know what the future has in store ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Nogas1974
Scientists in Edinburgh have developed a DNA risk score system to predict how long a person might live.
The research, which was carried out at Edinburgh University's Usher Institute, involved an analysis of 500,000 DNA samples from people of European ancestry in Europe, the UK and the United States.

While most people were found to have roughly the same life expectancy, the top and bottom ten percent of the population can expect to live for five more (or fewer) years based on DNA alone.

"The way statistics work, you have a clearer lens the more people you have in the sample," said Dr Peter Joshi. "This time we showed that a gene that affects which blood type you are - A or B or O - affects how long you live. Another gene, insulin-like growth factor, appears to affect how you age."

"But the overall shape of our findings are that the main way that genetics seems to affect how long you live is through susceptibility to heart disease. If you're carrying variants that protect you from heart disease, they seem to be the things that make the biggest difference."

While it is still early days yet, studies such as this could one day make it possible to more accurately determine a person's genetic susceptibility to certain conditions to the point where preventative action could be taken - potentially saving thousands of lives.

In some cases however, such as in predicting a person's susceptibility to an incurable degenerative disease, it becomes unclear as to whether such knowledge would be beneficial or detrimental.

"So you're giving yourself a piece of information that you might argue is just a fact, but it's a fact that might worry you and that worry is not likely to be very productive in that there's not much you can do about it," said Dr Joshi.

Source: Herald Scotland | Comments (6)

Tags: DNA, Life Expectancy

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by ouija ouija on 17 January, 2019, 12:43
^ ^ And there you have the whole thing in a nutshell! What is the point of knowing you have a chance of living 5yrs longer than some other folk!!!!!!!!! What use is that information to you?
Comment icon #2 Posted by Buzz_Light_Year on 17 January, 2019, 13:43
Well I'm sure that insurance companies would just love to have your DNA profile on whether or not your genetic markers make you a predisposition for disease or a shorter life span.
Comment icon #3 Posted by AllPossible on 17 January, 2019, 16:46
That would make me paranoid. I'd be looking at the clock and calendar so often. Plus who cares if they say you can live to 100, what happens when something out of our control happens. Life is short, that's why u have to make the best of what u got and complain less. There are people dying everyday unexpectedly. Just got to love the people who u care about & stop worrying about the petty stuff. 
Comment icon #4 Posted by Seti42 on 17 January, 2019, 18:39
Sounds kind of like BS to me...Your environment, wealth, health, activities, etc. seem to have much more bearing on your life expectancy.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Gary Meadows on 18 January, 2019, 13:18
Where does being hit by a bus factor into all of this? :)
Comment icon #6 Posted by Impedancer on 18 January, 2019, 14:25
they left out many variables one for instance is that Murphys Law exist and that  " Beep / censure beep " happens


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