Study: Body’s biomarkers may show chance of death.
Researchers have announced a rather morbid find: a “death test,” as the Telegraph puts it, which may predict the likelihood of a seemingly healthy person biting the dust within five years. The blood test looks at the levels of four of the body’s “biomarkers,” molecules that can point to health conditions.
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Scientists followed the 17,000 subjects for five years, during which period 684 died. All of them had comparable levels of the biomarkers. Britain’s National Health Service explains that those biomarkers include increased levels of infection-related Alpha-1-acid glycoprotein and the metabolism-related compound citrate, reduced levels of the nutrient-carrying protein albumin, and reduced size of very-low-density lipoprotein—or “very bad cholesterol”—particles. “What is especially interesting is that these biomarkers reflect the risk for dying from very different types of diseases such as heart disease or cancer. They seem to be signs of a general frailty in the body,” says a researcher. But the NHS cautions that “due to (the study’s) observational nature, it can only show an association, rather than causation, thereby limiting its potential impact.” (But, hey, if you’re rich enough, maybe you can just reverse the aging process altogether.)
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