Would blood tests that predict lifespan using biomarkers, epigenetics provide useful information?
David Brown| Washington Post | April 20, 2017

[Might blood]…be a window on the body’s fate?

Many scientists are trying to answer that question as a practical matter, not a metaphor. They are scouring the blood for biomarkers — easily measured substances that illuminate what’s going on in hard-to-reach places.

[Scientists led by Yan Zhang at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg]…found that specific methylation patterns at just 10 sites (out of thousands), when measured in people in their 60s, strongly predicted a person’s risk of dying over the next 10 years.

So, blood biomarkers that predict longevity — hemo-augury, you might call it — are a hot topic in medical research. But can they tell us anything useful that we don’t already know?

Various studies have shown that genes are responsible for only 30 percent of our longevity. The other 70 percent is determined by diet, exercise, weight, habits such as smoking and drinking, family and social life, along with access to medical care, and luck.

But as a practical matter, we don’t need to wait for ­hemo-augury to show up at our doctor’s office. We already know what to do to make ourselves healthier.

The ELP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: One little drop of your blood may someday predict how long you’ll live

Want to stay up to date on the latest epigenetics news? Follow ELP on Twitter and like the Facebook