It would be possible to predict five or ten year mortality from a simple blood test. This is the conclusion of a study that identified biomarkers with a relatively reliable prognosis.
Whether it is possible to die in the next 5 or 10 years ... This would be possible from a simple blood test, according to a team of researchers who identified 14 specific biomarkers to predict relatively reliably the mortality rate. a deadline of a few years.
Currently, mortality in elderly patients can be fairly accurately predicted in their last year of life based on the clinical data of these patients, which allows them to take stock of their state of health and derive a short-term prognosis.
No consensus on risk factors
To be able to achieve a longer-term prognosis, "there is currently no consensus on all factors predicting the risk of mortality between 5 and 10 years," said Eline Slagboom, molecular epidemiologist and researcher. Aging at the Medical Center of the University of Leiden in the Netherlands who participated in the new study published in the journal Nature Communications.
Indeed, conventional risk factors for middle-age mortality such as blood pressure and cholesterol do not really match the risk of death in elderly patients. But Eline Slagboom's team, analyzing blood samples from 44,168 people aged 18 to 109 years of European origin, identified 14 metabolic biomarkers independently associated with mortality. To assess the extent to which these biomarkers indicated a real risk of death, the researchers analyzed them against a group of 7,600 Finnish patients studied in 1997.
An accuracy of about 83%
Of the 1,213 individuals in this group who died during follow-up, the 14 biomarkers identified had predicted their deaths with an accuracy of approximately 83%, a proportion that clearly exceeds the predictions based only on risk factors for death. conventional.
"If we can identify vulnerable seniors with this blood-based measure, the next step is to anticipate this vulnerability," Eline Slagboom explains. In other words, these biomarkers capable of predicting death in the medium term could also be used to make this prognosis go away by making it easier to direct patient care!
Many validations to bring
But many experts believe that there are many validations to be made to this study so that the results of such blood tests can be used in clinical environments: validation of the repeatability of the test in different laboratories, production of reference samples and validation of all components of the panel.
The authors of the study also recognize that the number of biomarkers measured in their work represent only a fraction of the metabolites in human serum which requires working on more advanced spectrometry systems that should provide more reliable predictions.