How Long Will You Live? $700 Blood Test Has Answer

Telomeres test will soon be offered over the counter in Europe
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2011 11:20 AM CDT
Updated May 22, 2011 8:23 AM CDT
A new test could give you an estimate of your longevity.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Want to know when you're going to die? A blood test soon to be offered over the counter in Europe can give you a good estimate. The Life Length test, which will cost around $700, measures the length of a person's telomeres, structures on the tips of chromosomes that can show how fast you're aging, allowing those who take it to get a sense of whether their "biological age" is older or younger than their actual age. Studies have shown that people with shorter telomeres than normal have shorter lifespans, the Independent reports.

Researchers think telomere testing will be common within the next decade, but some scientists have ethical concerns. The tests could be used unscrupulously by companies selling fake anti-aging remedies, for example. But the inventor of the test insists "it will be useful for you to know your biological age and maybe to change your lifestyle habits if you find you have short telomeres." (Good news for those with shorter telomeres: A 2004 study suggests meditation or stress reduction may lengthen them. Exercise can help, too.)

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