what if youcould find out how long you'll live and what if all it took was a simple blood test and several hundred dollars would you do it would you want to know It's a conversation we had today here after we learned that what sounds like science-fiction in fact is present right now And Sharyn Alfonsi has more .
It's a simple blood test and while most of us could handle this could you stomach the results The test will tell you how long you'll likely live how Well it turns out your gray hair or even the wrinkles on your face are not the best indicators of how well you're aging Rather it's something called telomeres Telomeres are the tips of your chromosomes You're born with them As you age they shorten This blood test actually measures them If you have shorter than normal telomeres for someone your age you're aging faster than normal and will have a shorter life Shorter telomeres are often found in people with heart disease obesity Alzheimer's .
It does not give you an expiration date You might say I'm a seventy year-old with telomeres of an eighty year-old That doesn't mean you're gonna die at eighty .
The test costs about seven hundred dollars but do people really wanna know how long they'll live would you wanna know ?
No I just feel that I It's fate and whatever's going to happen is going to happen .
I don't wanna know
and you know .
I'll be old by then anyway .
what if it said you only have a week left to live ?
C'est la vie .
And the test opens up an ethical Pandora's Box .
It's possible that health insurance companies can say we just won't insure you unless you have this test done It's possible that life insurance and also disability insurance companies may say if you want us to give you life insurance and disability insurance we wanna know how long you're gonna live .
still for others it offers a tantalizing opportunity If you took the blood test and it said you only have you know a month to live how would you live life differently ?
I'd probably go traveling and I'd spend all of my money .
Spend all your money cause you can't take it with you The blood test will first be sold in Europe later here And there's a lot of interesting work going on in this field Studies show that in the same way stress smoking and drinking can shorten your telomeres you can actually lengthen them as well through exercise diane And they say even meditation .
So a telomere alert is going out you can lengthen them and nobody wanted to know .
That's right No one not one person we spoke to wanted to know .
OK Sharyn thank you