Loughborough University developing breath test to predict health in older people

Person breathing into a mouthpiece

New research at Loughborough University aims to develop a breath test to predict when health and physical function is at risk of declining in older people.

The study, which welcomes participants aged 18 to 90, will involve simple measurements including breathing into a mouthpiece, as well as the collection of blood, saliva, and urine samples.

Researchers from the University’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences and School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering will look for signs of frailty – the condition where multiple bodily systems decline in older people. Frailty poses significant health risks for individuals, making them more susceptible to illness and injury.

"We believe that analysing breath samples could hold the key to unlocking valuable insights into the ageing process and identifying individuals at risk of frailty," explains Prof Alexandra Stolzing, lead researcher and Professor of Biogerontological Engineering at Loughborough University.

"By exploring potential biomarkers present in breath, alongside other biological samples and lifestyle factors, we aim to develop predictive models that can inform personalised interventions and promote healthy ageing."