A new blood test that can predict not only your long-term health but also the rate at which you will age was discovered by scientists.
The study of twins led by King's College, London, could lead to powerful new treatments and drug therapies to tackle conditions linked to getting older, the Daily Express reported.
It was suggested that key metabolites in blood- which are chemical "fingerprints" left behind after molecular changes before birth or in infancy- can provide the vital clues, which could point to a person's long-term overall health and rate of ageing in later life.
The study analysed blood samples donated by more than 6,000 twins and identified 22 metabolites directly linked to chronological age.
The concentrations of the metabolites were higher in older than in younger people.
It was found that one of them, linked to ageing traits such as lung function and bone mineral density, is also strongly associated with birth weight and it could lead to accelerated ageing in later adult life.
Scientists say it is possible that these markers of ageing can be identified with simple blood tests in the future, which may provide further clues to the ageing process and could pave the way for development of therapies to treat age-related conditions.
The study was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology