Researchers have found that chemical changes in DNA can help them to understand a person’s biological age, which is a measure of how long a body has lived that can also predict when a person is going to die.
Scientists have found that people whose biological age is older than their real age are likely to die sooner, even accounting for things like smoking and heart disease.
According to The Independent, five different studies tracked 5,000 people for 14 years and measured their biological age over time. In each study, the link between biological age and chances of death held up.
“This new research increases our understanding of longevity and healthy ageing,” said Professor Ian Deary. from the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology
“It is exciting as it has identified a novel indicator of ageing, which improves the prediction of lifespan over and above the contribution of factors such as smoking, diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” he added.
Measuring biological age is relatively simple for scientists. They do it by looking at methylation, which is the chemical modification that happens to DNA.