Research Press Release

Health sciences: Blood biomarkers may help predict mortality risk

Nature Communications

August 21, 2019

14 biomarkers in the blood that are associated with all-cause mortality are reported in Nature Communications. The findings may help to improve the prediction of 5- and 10-year mortality risk compared to current methods.

Predicting mortality in the final year of a patient’s life is generally feasible because of the amount of clinical data available. Previous studies have analysed blood metabolite profiles and other physiological parameters in order to identify biomarkers that could be used to predict mortality risk. However, there is no consensus on a set of predictors that could be used to determine longer-term (5-10 years) mortality risk.

Joris Deelen and colleagues performed metabolomics profiling for a total of 44,168 individuals from 12 cohorts with participants spanning a range of 18-109 years of age, all of European descent. From this the authors identified 14 metabolites that are associated with all-cause mortality. These biomarkers are known to be involved in various processes including lipoprotein and fatty acid metabolism, glycolysis and inflammation. The authors then used the identified metabolites to build a model that predicts 5- and 10-year mortality risk. The model showed greater levels of accuracy across all ages than a model using conventional risk factors.

The authors suggest that a risk score based on the 14 biomarkers and sex could be used in clinical practice to guide treatment strategies; however, further investigation is needed.


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