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Blood Test Could Predict If You'll Die In The Next 5 Years

First Posted: Nov 30, 2016 04:13 AM EST
Blood Test
Scientists have found that measuring inflammation markers in the blood could predict if a person will die in the next five years.
(Photo : David Silverman/Getty Images)

Will you be alive in the next five years? A simple blood test could help scientists predict the risk of immediate death from heart disease or cancer.

A team of international researchers found a way to predict the risk of immediate death. They found a marker in the blood that detects the building blocks of certain diseases like chronic heart disease, cancer and other serious conditions.

In the study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, the researchers looked at the data collected from 1997 to 1999 on more than 6,500 men aged between 45 and 69. The participants were followed until 2015 to see if they have died from any disease. The researchers also analyzed the biomarkers of inflammation -- interleukin-6 (IL-6), (C-reactive protein (CRP) and α1-acid glycoprotein (AGP).

They found that the new inflammatory marker, dubbed as IL-6 or interleukin-6, is more accurate in assessing the risk of death, in both short and long terms than the previously used α1-acid glycoprotein (AGP). Inflammatory markers are known to be linked to cancer, strokes, heart disease and other potentially fatal diseases. In fact, the greater the inflammation, the more serious the condition.

"Our findings suggest that AGP is not a better marker of short- or long-term mortality risk than the more commonly used biomarkers IL-6 and CRP," the researchers concluded in the study.

Despite the importance of using inflammation markers in predicting death from certain diseases, the efficacy of tests measuring these biomarkers is still being debated. However, the new study paves a way for scientists to determine the importance of determining the relationship of inflammation and the overall health of the person.

"Omics technologies are exciting, as they allow the concurrent assessment of many biomarkers, some of which may turn out to be important to detect preclinical states of diseases or be markers of future disease," Professor Archana Singh-Manoux, lead author from the University College London, said in a press release by the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

"Research on biomarkers is progressing fast, and it is important to undertake checks like in the one in our study, to shape future research on biomarkers," she added.

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