Blood test can help predict life expectancy
A simple blood test may be all it takes for doctors to effectively screen patients that seem healthy at their annual visits. New research suggests that this blood test may predict who is at highest risk to develop heart problems, as well as how long these people have to live.
Researchers used the complete blood count (CBC) risk score, which is an inexpensive tool that uses all the information in a common blood test, including information that is typically underused. They claim that with this test, doctors can identify those patients at higher risk and decide who needs further testing.
They study used CBC lab testing information gathered from the JUPITER Trial, a randomized clinical trial of a cholesterol-lowering drug. The study looked at more than 17,000 people in 26 countries and followed-up for five years.
They found that those participants with a lower CBC risk score were very unlikely to die, while those with scores in the middle of the range had more than a 50 percent higher risk of death. Those in the high range were about twice as likely to die as those with low scores.
Researchers say this method is a standardized way of assessing risk of mortality in all patients, not just patients with a history of heart disease.
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