What if your future was written in your blood? It seems like a concept out of science fiction, but scientists are now saying that it is creepily real. A new test was able to predict if patients would die in either five or 10 years with 83 percent accuracy, according to Ars Technica.
According to the latest discovery, measurements of 14 metabolic substances in blood were behind the scarily accurate predictions. The data was collected by researchers in the Netherlands who used stats from patients with ages ranging from 18 to 109. They then took measurements of over 226 different substances in the blood of over 44,168 patients. Over the 17 year process, 5,512 died.
The scientists then looked at the similarities in the blood of those that had passed away and found 14 specific markers. The team then tested it on a second sample, this time consisting of 7,603 Finnish people. The 14 blood measurements predicted with over 80 percent accuracy who would die within both five years and 10 years.
However, the team noted that when looking at people over 60-years-old, the accuracy dropped to 72 percent. The researchers also added that the samples included an overwhelming majority of people of European descent, and the results may not be the same for people of other races.
Some scientists have pointed out, however, that it is not entirely surprising that a blood test would be so accurate in predicting death. The most common causes of human fatality, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, all have biomarkers in the blood, and those were part of the 14 measurements singled out.
However, other markers, like acetoacetate, seemed to have little known connection to mortality. Acetoacetate is a ketone, a compound created when the body does not have enough sugar so the liver converts fat into energy. The authors of the paper have added that the results will likely lead to more research into the marker.
“In conclusion,” the paper, available via Nature, claimed, “we identified a set of 14 metabolic biomarkers that independently associate with all-cause mortality. A score based on these 14 biomarkers and sex leads to improved risk prediction as compared to a score based on conventional risk factors. ”
Researchers added that the test could be particularly useful for elderly patients, such as when deciding whether or not a risky surgery is worth it. They also wrote that it is promising for further scientific discoveries.
“The currently used metabolomics platform can be incorporated in ongoing clinical studies to explore its value, opening up new avenues for research to establish the utility of metabolic biomarkers in clinical settings,” the team concluded.