Predicting Death
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predicting death

Ben Franklin once wrote that there are only two predictable things in life – Death and Taxes. But truly, can we predict our time of death? There’s a blood test being studied that’s eighty-three percent accurate at predicting a person’s death in five to ten years.

Researchers drew blood from forty-four thousand healthy people ages eighteen to one hundred nine then tracked their health for up to sixteen years. They were focused on “blood markers” which are molecules in the blood that point to health vulnerabilities. More than two hundred molecules produced by the body and found in the blood were assessed. It’s like plugging your car into the computer at the auto repair shop and getting the codes for problems. From this list of metabolic molecules, fourteen were found as the most predictive of death in five to ten years and became the biomarker scorecard. Other non-blood variables were also included such as gender.

It’s not new to use biomarkers to tell a person’s health, but using them together like this is new and a lot more reliable. The concept of having an inexpensive predictive test for assessing long term health is extremely helpful. People could begin preventive care immediately to extend life, take steps to organize their finances, or research health care options such as nursing homes. But imagine the effect on insurance coverage – whether people are turned away based on a negative scorecard.

For more information…

Metabolic Biomarker “Score” May Predict Death in Next 5–10 Years
The researchers intend for the tool to eventually help doctors make treatment decisions...

A metabolic profile of all-cause mortality risk identified in an observational study of 44,168 individuals
Robust predictors of intermediate- and long-term mortality may be valuable instruments in clinical trials and medical decision-making. Predicting mortality in the final year of the life of a patient is generally feasible because of the abundance of available clinical data...