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For Long Life: Genetic Testing

A relatively inexpensive saliva test could tell someone their expected lifespan based on their genes, the Telegraph reports.

It adds that researchers from the University of Edinburgh conducted a genome-wide association study that drew on the genetic information from more than half a million people who were asked how long their parents lived. As Edinburgh's Peter Joshi and colleagues report in eLife, they validated six loci previously linked to lifespan and uncovered 11 novel ones. The lead SNPs are linked to autoimmune, cardiometabolic, neuropsychiatric, or smoking-related disease, the researchers note. All together, they add that these lifespan-linked variants explain a difference of about five years across the deciles.

"If we take 100 people at birth, or later, and use our lifespan score to divide them into ten groups, the top group will live five years longer than the bottom on average," Joshi tells the Telegraph. It adds that a test using these findings could be folding into current tests, which cost about £150 ($193).