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Researchers are scary close to predicting when they will die



  Close-up photo of blood-filled test tubes.
Enlarge / Samples of donated blood in Vacutainer test tubes with a yellow tip.

If death is in the cards, it can also be in your blood.

Measurements of 14 metabolites in the blood have pretty well predicted whether people are likely to die in the next five to ten years. The data were published this week in Nature Communications.

A research team led by data scientists in the Netherlands found the fateful 1

4 in the blood 226 different substances based on data from 44,168 people aged 18 to 109 years. Of the 44,168 people, 5,512 died during a follow-up period of nearly 17 years.

The researchers then put their mortality tables to the test. They used the 14 blood measurements to try to predict deaths in a cohort of 7,603 Finnish individuals interviewed in 1997. Of these Finns, 1,213 died during aftercare. Overall, the 14 blood measurements gave an accuracy of 83% to predict deaths within five and ten years. However, in predicting deaths over the age of 60, the accuracy dropped to about 72%.

The listing of obvious fatality indicators may not be quite surprising. Some are already known to signal deadly conditions such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes – all major causes of death in Europe and the US. The culprits are blood sugar; Factors associated with "bad" cholesterol; Glycoprotein acetyls and polyunsaturated fatty acids associated with inflammation; and albumin, which may indicate kidney and liver problems. Nevertheless, some others, such as acetoacetate, are not as clearly linked to mortality and require some research, say the authors.

In combination, these biomarkers combined improve the risk prediction of 5- and 10-year mortality compared to traditional risk factors across all age groups, "the authors conclude. "These results suggest that creating metabolic biomarker profiles could potentially serve as a guide to patient care if validated further in relevant clinical situations."

say, too far away for an invasive operation. On the other hand, learning about impending fate can also help motivate patients to improve their health through lifestyle changes to stop this fate. Accordingly, one day mortality forecasts may help determine whether modern medicine has found a way to trick death into new treatments or interventions.

Currently, researchers are still far from it. The markers must be validated in clinical settings – not just cohort datasets. In addition, all data from the study came from people of European descent, meaning that they may not be applicable to other groups.

Nature Communications, 2019. DOI: 10.1038 / s41467-019-11311-9 (About DOIs). [19659012]
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