Blood reveals death risk

Why die for some people 75 years and others are 100 years old? The answer may lie in the view of an international team of researchers in the blood. The scientists have identified 14 so-called biomarkers, with which the probability can be calculate to die within the next five or ten years, as they report in the journal “Nature Communications”.

Biomarkers are measurable values that may indicate diseases. In the current study, they will not be used, however, to make certain diagnoses. You have to predict only the statistical probability of whether a Patient dies in a certain period of time. Is the result of, for example, 60 percent, that 60 percent of the patients studied died with the same values within five or ten years.

A higher concentration of glucose, or lactate go hand in hand, for example, with a higher mortality risk, a higher concentration of the amino acids histidine and leucine, or the blood protein Albumin with a lower. The researchers have a Test in mind now, which is to say, the mortality risk of patients to predict. But who would want to know?

To “fragile” for an OP

The researchers see an advantage: If Doctors know how high the risk of death is, could you decide whether a patient is a possible way to “fragile” for engagement. Exactly this approach, but independent scientists to critically evaluate. Because the other way around, Doctors and health insurance funds could also ask: is it Worth the surgery, if the patient is likely to be dead in five years?

“How can we prevent statistical risk assessments occupy a high place in the therapy goal setting?”, Annette Rogge asks critically. She is the Chairman and managing Director of the Clinical ethics Committee at the University hospital of Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH). Who makes sure that no Patient is discriminated against? Who should deliver the bad news and how? According to Rogge, patients have also a right not to know, the must be ensured.

For the study, the international Team led by Joris had Deelen from the Max-Plack-Institute for biology of ageing in Cologne, data from 44.168 patients evaluated. At the beginning of the long-term studies, subjects between 18 and 109 years old. Every eighth of them died within the observation period.

The scientists in the patients ‘ blood samples, looking for materials, the conclusions on the risk of death allow. They identified 14 such biomarkers, particularly amino acids, fats and inflammatory messengers. Both men and women across various age groups, they predicted the risk is significantly more reliable than previously known Biomarker.

“The presented biomarkers are quite biologically plausible and have been used in individual studies and in part already, but not in this combination”, says Florian Kronenberg from the Institute of Genetic epidemiology, Innsbruck Medical University, who was not involved in the study.

Test is still far from market maturity

“It may initially be scared if an algorithm therapies is involved,” says Kronenberg. “But already today, decisions are made in medicine constantly, mostly on the Basis of relatively few data.” More data allowed in the future, presumably, more accurate predictions.

Still, the researchers are, however, far from it, to bring such a Test to the market. Many more studies would be necessary. “It typically takes many years and a number of evaluation steps until it creates a Biomarker really in the clinical application,” says Kronenberg.

Medical bioethicist Rogge presents the introduction to the market in question. “The use of the described Biomarker-based mortality risk for treatment decisions of individual patients to assess both today as well as a vision of the future are critical.”