An Icelandic researcher claims that by analysing blood proteins it is possible to make a relatively accurate prediction of when someone is going to die.
Kari Stefansson, the CEO of deCODE Genetics, carried out a study involving blood samples from over 40,000 Icelanders and believes that his research shows it is possible to predict someones remaining life span by analysing proteins in their blood.
Local news site Grapevine reports that Stefansson said: “We can find five percent of people between the ages of 60 and 80 who are almost 90 percent likely to die within the next five years.”
He added: “Then we can find another five percent who really have no chance of dying within the next five years.”
Stefansson explains that this is not some sort of ‘prophecy’ but an accurate prediction using averages and statistics based on the analysis of the blood samples.
The study involved over 40,000 samples with some dating back as far as 20 years which meant that around 7,000 of the people in the study have already died.
The proteins in the blood samples were analysed and used to make predictions on the participant’s life expectancy.
According to Stefansson, it is possible to deduce if someone is likely to die very soon or not for a considerable number of years to what he describes as a “reasonable degree of accuracy”.
Kari Stefansson pioneered the use of population-scale genetics to help understand the human genome and he was elected to the prestigious National Academy of Sciences in 2019.
Stefansson himself said: “I’m not particularly curious about how much time I have left” but he is hopeful the research will contribute to future drug development.
The full research paper is expected to be published in the next couple of weeks.