Interpreting the Results of a Telomere Test

The science of telomeres as it relates to aging and disease is in its early stages of discovery. Although the measurements taken of telomere length may be accurate, these measurements in relation to aging and health yield no definitive interpretation. Therefore, the results of a telomere test should not be considered conclusive.

No reputable scientist, doctor or laboratory claims that telomere testing can predict the time a person has left to live.

Regardless, recent advances in telomere science have opened the door to commercial ventures hoping to exploit the theoretical potential of telomere testing for all its worth. These companies believe that telomere testing will soon provide reliable (and profitable) data regarding human health and longevity.

Should telomere science advance to such a degree the effect on human life could be far-reaching:

  • People may be able to know how long they will live until their natural death;
  • People may be able to know their risk for cancer and other diseases;
  • Insurance companies may require telomere testing before providing life, health or disability coverage;
  • Employers may require telomere testing results before hiring.