If you’ve ever wanted to know whether you’re at risk of an early death, a team of researchers in Germany have created a groundbreaking test for you.
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing identified 14 factors in the blood that are associated with dying from an early cause. These include immunity, glucose control, inflammation and circulating fat.
Blood test from thousands of adults were analysed, 44,168 people to be precise. Ages of the participants ranged from 18 to 109 years old. They used the findings to predict whether someone was going to die in the next two to 16 years.
Researchers say they created a score based on the molecules that help to predict someone’s risk of death. Participants were given a score ranging from -2 to 3. The higher the number from the blood test, the more likely a person was going to die early.
Over 5,500 participants died during a follow-up of these results, with this new type of test predicting their risk of death with 83 per cent accuracy.
While it may sound pretty morbid, the test is designed to warn people that may not have long to live, encouraging them to participate in a healthier lifestyle. It will also help doctors to improve how they treat patients for specific medical conditions.
Dr. Joris Deelen who works at the Max Planck Institute spoke about the positives of the study, as per Fox News:
It’s a marker of your current health and physical vulnerability, the test does not predict how long you will live as you have a hand in it yourself.
If the blood test indicates your physical vulnerability, if it tells you how long you’ll live – and your family see that and you change your lifestyle – you could live twice as long.
While a significant advancement, there is still more research that needs to be done before these tests can be used in real life.
Dr Amanda Heslegrave, researcher at the UK Dementia Research Institute at University College London, added her beliefs in the journal Nature Communications, as reported by The Sun:
The large numbers in the study are good and also the fact that they have a large number for outcome – in this case mortality – makes the data more viable. However, it is limited by the fact that being only European data it may not apply to other ethnic groups without further studies.
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Matt Weston is a lover of electric cars, artificial intelligence and space. From Cornwall, he’s a UCLan graduate that still dreams of being a Formula One driver in the very near future. Previously work includes reporting for regional newspapers and freelance video for the International Business Times.