Want to live to 100? One single factor could be the key | Tech News

There is way to figure out who will live to 100 years of age (Picture: Getty)

What is the secret to living to 100?

More people than ever are doing it, including in the UK – in 2022, there were around 15,100 centenarians.

Ask an individual who hits the landmark age, and they may have their own theory, perhaps their diet, a cheeky drink a day, or a positive outlook in life.

Now however, scientists think they’ve found a way to tell who will hit 100.

Those who live to 100 years old have different biomarkers, or biological molecules, in their blood than those who don’t. 

The study, published in GeroScience, is the biggest to date, and could mean that a simple blood test can reveal who may live past their 100th birthday. 

Scientists, including from the Karolinska Institutet, analysed data from 44,000 Swedes who underwent health assessments at the ages 64 to 99. The participants were then followed through the Swedish register data for up to 35 years. 

Of the participants followed, only 1,224, or 2.7%, lived to be 100 years old – and the vast majority of them were female (85%).

The researchers used 12 biomarkers to look at inflammation, metabolism, liver and kidney function, as well as potential malnutrition and anaemia. The researchers also looked at albumin which is a biomarker used for nutrition.  

A simple blood test could reveal who will live past 100 (Picture: Getty)

The marker linked to inflammation was uric acid, which is a waste product from the breakdown of certain foods. Other markers included glucose and cholesterol that measures metabolic states and function.

Creatinine, another waste product due to the breakdown of food and is linked to kidney function, was also measured, as well as iron to look at anaemia levels. 

The researchers found that except for one liver enzyme and albumin, the other biomarkers were linked to the likelihood of a person becoming a centenarian. Those who had increased levels of total cholesterol and iron had a greater likelihood of becoming centenarians than those with lower levels. 

But for the biomarkers of glucose, creatinine, uric acid and liver enzyme, lower levels were associated with higher chances of living past 100.

In the Conversation, the researchers wrote: ‘We found that, on the whole, those who made it to their hundredth birthday tended to have lower levels of glucose, creatinine and uric acid from their sixties onwards.

‘Although the median values didn’t differ significantly between centenarians and non-centenarians for most biomarkers, centenarians seldom displayed extremely high or low values.’

They said that although the differences that were uncovered were small, they suggest a potential link between metabolic health, nutrition and exceptional longevity.

However, the authors said that their research does not allow for any conclusions on which lifestyle factors or genes are responsible for the biomarker values. 

‘However, it is reasonable to think that factors such as nutrition and alcohol intake play a role,’ they wrote. 

‘Keeping track of your kidney and liver values, as well as glucose and uric acid as you get older, is probably not a bad idea.’ 

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