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We’re One Step Closer to a Blood Test that Predicts When a Person Will Die

August 21, 2019

While death is inevitable, knowing when it will come isn’t necessarily, and scientists have been trying to develop a test that could reliably and easily predict how long a person will live — or, more technically, how healthy they are and therefore how vulnerable they might be to major mortality risk factors. Blood tests are the most likely avenue to such a test, since it’s easy to obtain blood samples and labs equipped to handle them are common.

The latest effort is described in a new paper published in Nature Communications, by a team led by Joris Deelen, postdoctoral researcher at the Max Planck Institute for the Biology of Aging and P. Eline Slagboom, head of molecular epidemiology at Leiden University. The researchers report that, in a group of more than 33,000 healthy patients, their blood test was around 80% accurate in predicting mortality risk within five to 10 years.

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