Since ancient times, people have been trying to predict their own or other deaths.
Scientists from the Division of Clinical Epidemiology and Aging Research, German Research Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg (Germany) performed epigenome-wide screening to detect mortality-related DNA methylation signatures which will be associated with mortality.
DNA methylation is a chemical modification that occurs predominantly on CG dinucleotides in mammalian genomes.
The scientists discovered 58 CGs in the blood samples which are associated with mortality from any causes during 14 years of follow-up. A mortality risk score based on ten selected CpGs strongly predicts all-cause, cardiovascular diseases and cancer mortality.
Authors believe that this discovery might be highly informative for risk assessment and stratification.