DNA can help predict life expectancy

ORCADES recently contributed to a study that can help predict life expectancy. The study was conducted by Dr. Peter Joshi and his colleagues at the Usher Institute of Population Health Science, The University of Edinburgh.

Image of brain and genes

The researchers 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. This number included people that took part in the ORCADES study.

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 Joshi
AXA 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