DNA can help predict life expectancy

According to a new study, conducted by University of Edinburgh researchers, DNA can help predict life expectancy.

Image of brain and genes

The study, led by Doctor Peter Joshi and colleagues produced a scoring system to test the effect of genes influencing lifespan. People who score in the top 10 percent of the population could expect to live up to five years longer than those in the lowest ten percent.  The study looked at genetic data from more than 500,000 people.

The researchers found twelve areas of the human genome that majorly impact lifespan. Five of those areas had never been reported before. The areas with the largest effect on lifespan have been previously linked to fatal illnesses, including heart disease.

If we take 100 people at birth, or later, and use our lifespan score to divide them into 10 groups, the top group will live five years longer than the bottom, on average.

Dr. Peter JoshiAXA Fellow, The Usher Institute

The original aim of the study was to find genes that directly influence how quickly people age. However if such genes exist, their effects were too small to be detected in this study.

This study was published in the Journal eLife and can be found in the link below:

Study on DNA helps predict survival chances