A new “death test” has been discovered that can be done from a blood sample of a person which may show if he or she will die within five years. The research study was released this week and both Finnish and Estonian scientists reported that they had discovered certain levels of four chemicals moving around inside the blood which could offer dependable signals that death was close at hand. The four omens of passing away could be detected in the blood sample, and found even in seemingly healthy people.
The study was printed up in the journal PLOS Medicine and stated that many possible deadly conditions such as cardiovascular disease, cancer and a slew of non-vascular reasons of death might share signs and possibly origins that may have been hidden in plain view. If easily detectable biological clues could alert individuals of any dangerous conditions at one time from one blood test, it could give a person an early warning of a deadly hazard, while the problem could still be prevented or at least postponed.
That being said, such a blood test that would be able to predict death, is far-off from being ready to be used as of yet. This is an early effort to garner better ways that could screen for and detect diseases. For the time being, however, the so called death biomarkers might make a person think twice before he or she were to give up a vial of his or her blood. The biomarkers were tapered down from a list of nearly 110 chemicals in the blood. They were all proteins, lipids and metabolites flowing around. The scientists decided on a specific four after running tests on carefully collected blood samples of nearly 9,500 Estonians who ranged in age from 18 to over 100 through a scan which used nuclear magnetic resonance imagery, to take measurements of the nearly 110 biomarkers in each person. Over a follow-up period of nearly five years, about 510 of the randomly selected Estonian subjects had passed away from different causes. The authors of the study looked at the biomarker levels of the two groups in an effort to see which ones that were more common in the dead and less so among the living.
The four biomarkers they chose stood out as strangely common amid the dead, and were less so in those that were alive after the five years had passed. The researchers produced a directory of the four biomarkers and found that when compared to an individual whose index had dropped to the bottom 20 percent of the detected range, the person whose biomarker index stayed in the top 20 percent was almost 20 times more likely to have died within the five years after his or her blood sample was taken.
Even when the scientists weeded out all the test subjects who had cancer, diabetes or cardiovascular disease, they discovered that the biomarkers ended up predicting death over the five year time span in both sick and also healthy people. The researchers then proceeded to repeat their test on a completely different population group. They found nearly 8,500 Finnish men and women around the ages of 25 and 75. The biomarkers were equally prophetic in the telling of death in this group of individuals as well.
In the research study, both Finnish and Estonian researchers reported that they had discovered that certain levels of four chemicals moving around inside the blood could offer a dependable signal that death was close at hand. The four omens of passing away could be detected in a blood sample, and used even in seemingly healthy people.
By Kimberly Ruble