Believers or not, many people will ask themselves the same question from time to time: when do i die Only their weighting will vary depending on age and health. There are also tests on the web that are supposed to give you the answer. But these are rarely well-founded – let alone reliable. But is there even a scientific approach to answering the question of one’s own mortality?
When do I die – and what does that depend on?
As a rule, statistics are used for such a case. A few factors come into play. Do you smoke? Do you drink alcohol? What is your diet like? And of course your genetics also play a not insignificant role in the question “When will I die?”. It also determines the rate at which you age. Scientists have now taken a closer look at this aspect.
The reason is relatively simple: the older you are, the more likely it is that certain diseases will occur. The probability of your resulting mortality also changes. A newly developed algorithm is to use the retina to determine how quickly people age and when they die.
What may sound incomprehensible at first is not only scientifically sound, but also extensively tested. The algorithm determined the age of nearly 47,000 middle-aged and older adults with an accuracy of 3.5 years. But how exactly is this supposed to answer the question “When will I die?”?
Is the Age Difference in the Retina the Answer?
A good decade after the retinas were scanned, 1,871 of the subjects had died. Those whose eyes were classified as older than they actually were were more likely to be in this group. Zhuoting Zhu from the Center for Eye Research Australia and her team published their study on January 18, 2022 in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.
“Our results suggest that retinal age difference could be a potential biomarker of aging that is closely related to risk of death, meaning that retinal imaging could serve as a screening tool for risk stratification and the delivery of tailored interventions.” “
Zhuoting Zhu et al.
The scientists refer to the retina as the “window” for neurological diseases. They cite the significant association between the age difference in the retina versus the chronological age of the subject and non-cardiovascular and non-cancer mortality as the reason for this. Also, “the increasing evidence of the connection between the eye and the brain” would support this idea.
From the retina to the heart
According to the team, retinal health could also be an indicator of cardiovascular health. Accordingly, scans of the retina could sometimes help to predict cardiovascular risk factors. Previous studies have also shown this
“This work supports the hypothesis that the retina plays an important role in the aging process and is sensitive to the cumulative damage of aging that increases the risk of death.”
Zhuoting Zhu et al.
In the future, algorithms like these could possibly not only answer the question “When will I die?”, but also reveal possible risks and opportunities. But more remains to be seen. But with five simple tips for everyday life, you can already increase your life expectancy.
Source: “Retinal age gap as a predictive biomarker for mortality risk” (2022; British Journal of Ophthalmology)