Researchers from several universities of Finland and Estonia, hospitals in Massachusetts, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Bristol University have identified four biomarkers that are helpful in identifying people at a risk of dying from any disease within a period of five years. The result was independent of the risk factors such as age, smoking, drinking, obesity, etc.
Researchers for the experiment looked at 106 biomarkers in the blood samples of over 17,000 healthy individuals. Participants were monitored for several years on those biomarkers that could reflect on individuals who had died within the following five years after their blood samples were taken. This resulted in the identification of four biomarkers–reduced levels of albumin, increased levels of Alpha–1, reduced levels of very low–density lipoprotein (VLDL) and increased levels of citrate. When these four levels were added together to get a biomarker summary score, it was found that about 15.3% of the people in the top 20% of the sample were dead within five years compared to 0.8% in the bottom 20%.
The biomarkers helped in identifying individuals who were at a much higher risk of dying and the results did not change even after including healthy people, that is, people who did not suffer from diabetes, cancer or cardiovascular disease. The research can be helpful in identifying people through a simple test and guide them to a proper treatment. This will eventually reduce the number of deaths among the people who only appear to be healthy. Scientists, however, opine that more studies are required before the findings can be implemented in clinical practice.