Blood Test
A nurse takes blood for a free HIV test during a HIV prevention campaign marking the World AIDS Day in Lima, Peru December 1, 2016. Reuters/Mariana Bazo

Boston University scientists have revealed that they have developed a blood test that can predict lifespans. As weird as it may sound, the scientists believe it is a game-changing blood test though the test needs to be conducted on larger groups of people to confirm the results. This breakthrough will allow patients to identify health risks early on and subsequently modify behaviour to change outcome.

The study was published on the journal Aging Science on Friday. It used biomarker data from 5,000 blood samples. The researchers then analysed these samples against health development of donors over subsequent eight years. They were able to identify patterns indicative of both good and bad futures. The test proved immensely useful in determining the chances of getting age-related illnesses such as diabetes, heart diseases and cancer.

“These signatures depict differences in how people age, and they show promise in predicting healthy ageing, changes in cognitive and physical function, survival and age-related diseases like heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer. ” said l ead authors, Dr. Paola Sebastiani and Dr. Thomas Perls, in a statement.

“It sets the stage for a molecular-based definition of ageing that leverages information from multiple circulating biomarkers to generate signatures associated with different mortality and morbidity risk,” the researchers added.

The scientists were able to identify 26 different predictive biomarker signatures and said that even though numerous prediction and risk scores already exist for predicting specific diseases such as that of the heart, this new blood test shows certain patterns of groups of biomarkers that indicate how good or bad a person is ageing and whether he is at risk of contracting certain diseases and age-related syndromes.