Would you take the 'death test'? Simple blood test predicts chances of dying within five years
Scientists say new screening technology reveals a signature of mortality
A simple blood test could be enough to predict if a person is likely to die within the next five years – even if they are healthy.
Scientists from Finland and Estoniaclaim said they have now created a “death test” to predict the chances a person has of dying from a medical condition.
The blood test identifies four biological markers that strongly indicate the risk of dying from any disease within the near future.
A biomarker is a biological molecule, gene or characteristic that may be used to identify a biological state, condition or disease.
Blood samples taken from over 17,000 generally healthy participants were screened for more than a hundred different biomolecules. Their health was monitored for the next five years.
Of the 17,000 participants, 684 died during that period from a range of illnesses, including cancer and heart disease. The scientists found that all of the deceased had similar levels of four biomarkers - albumin; alpha-1-acid glycoprotein; citrate, and a similar size of very-low-density lipoprotein particles.
One in five participants with the highest biomarker scores died within the first year of the study.
Dr Johannes Kettunen, of the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, said: “What is especially interesting is that these biomarkers reflect the risk for dying from very different types of diseases such as heart disease or cancer. They seem to be signs of a general frailty in the body.”
The team are now looking to study whether some kind of connecting factor between these biomarkers can be identified.
“We believe that in the future these measures can be used to identify people who appear healthy but in fact have serious underlying illnesses and guide them to proper treatment. More studies are, however, needed before these findings can be implemented in clinical practice.”
Estonian researchers initially made the link from a group of 9,842 people and asked Finnish scientists to repeat the experiment on a further 7,503.
Research professor Markus Perola of the Institute for Health and Welfare, Finland told The Telegraph they were not expecting to be able to replicate the findings and were amazed when they were identical.
Prof Perola said: “It was a pretty amazing result. First of all we didn’t really believe it. It was astonishing that these biomarkers appeared to actually predict mortality independent of disease.
“These were all apparently healthy people but to our surprise it appears these biomarkers show an undetected frailty which people did not know they had.”
The study was published in the PLOS Medicine journal today.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Exeter - An excellent opportunity for a Solici...
£17000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Helpdesk Support Technician - 12 ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Maintenance...
£30000 - £38000 per annum + pesion + holidays: The Jenrick Group: World Wide S...