Blood Sample May Predict When You’re Going To Die

By Jay Gormley, CBS 11 News

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – If you could look into the future, would you? When it comes to knowing one’s life expectancy, it turns out many people would rather smash their crystal balls.

“I think it would increase the worry and anxiety about when I’m going to die,” said Dallas resident, Errol Sykes. “When it’s my time, it’s my time.”

A simple blood test is now available that measures how quickly a person is aging. By shipping a blood sample to a company in Spain called Life Length, people dying to know can find out if they’re dying faster than others.

Dr. Jerry Shay is vice chairman of cell biology at UT Southwestern Medical Center and is a consultant for Life Length.

“The hope is, by knowing your telomere length accurately, we may in the future be able to manipulate this and maybe do some cell and tissue engineering to replace those tissues or organs that are failing,” Shay said.

Telomeres are found on the end of chromosomes. Scientists believe the shorter a person’s telomeres are, the faster he or she aging.

Shay said the test won’t tell people when they’re going to die, but it can give them a better sense of life expectancy.

For example, a 40-year-old male may have results that show he has the telomeres of a 30-year-old. The results could also show that same 40-year-old male possesses the telomeres of a 50 or 55-year-old.

Dr. Paul Worrell of Dallas worries that negative results could send many people into an emotional tailspin.

“Some people have the desire to go see fortune tellers,” Worrell said. “I personally have concern that if I knew I was going to die, it might take away from my quality of life that I have now.”

Both doctors agree that the test may result in abuse by health and life insurance companies, which they fear could use the results to deny or gouge people for coverage.


One Comment

  1. Chad Le says:

    Its great to know when your gonna die, Cause then you”ll know if you need to live life to the fullest or not.

    1. Mariel says:

      you should live life to the fullest regardless.

  2. BRENDA says:

    no one mention the cost

  3. Maggie M. says:

    No thanks, I prefer to just live each day and not worry about when I may die. It will happen when it’s time. This reminded me of something I believe said by Woody Allen, ‘I’m not afraid of death, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.’

    1. Liz says:


  4. augiie says:

    i would most certainly like to know. i have a certain amount of money and base my budget on an expected life expectancy of another 25 years based on family age history. however, if i had less time to live, i could revamp my budget and spend more money now.

  5. Kate Dolan says:


    ONLY DUMB PEOPLE DO NOT WANT TO KNOW – same people who smoke , have tons of sex partnes do drug, eat foo with unclean hands, kill strangers on lip and get herpes!

  6. Jill Millier says:

    Of Course I Want To Know! Duh, Who would’t, Get Your Life In Order Go Vegetarian and Beat the Ripper! Don’t Kill Animal and The Tellomers Wont Kill you!

    Live and Let Live, Maybe i;ll Do That Know.

Comments are closed.

More From CBS Dallas / Fort Worth

Drip Pan: CBS Local App
Drip Pan: Weather App

Listen Live