Test may be able to predict 5-year risk of death

A simple test will determine if a person will die of a medical cause within a 5 years period. A study found that high levels of four different molecules in the body: albumin, alpha-1-acid glycoprotein, citrate and very low-density lipoprotein particles, predicts death within a certain time. Researchers still have to find out how these 4 biomarkers are associated with the risk of death.



5 thoughts on “Test may be able to predict 5-year risk of death

  1. This is an interesting article that raises several questions about the direction of medicine. It states; “this kind of test will only be accessible to the public once treatments for those who are at high risk are available”. What kind of “treatment” could there be for “death within 5 years”? This test only identifies biomarkers, but biomarkers are not the cause of death. These people that were tested could not have all died of the same causes, yet they had the same biomarkers. How will doctors be able to determine what their patients are at risk for and what course of treatment to follow, if the biomarkers are all the same? A second part of the article that’s troubling is the idea of identifying “people who appear healthy, but actually are at high risk for developing severe disease”. The issue is that we are not even in control of the cases in which indicators of disease are visible and treatable. Things like smoking, lifestyle and diet are all factors that are known to increase risk of chronic diseases. The article states that “then we may – in the future – be able to act to cure their looming disease state,” I think that there needs to be a greater emphasis on taking care of the obvious signs of disease that there are known treatments for (better diet, increase exercise, not smoking).

  2. http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/03/09/286881513/alzheimers-blood-test-raises-ethical-questions

    I recently stumbled upon this article, which also involves the use of biomarkers as predictors for well-being. In this case, it appears that a new test may be able to predict whether or not someone will develop Alzheimer’s disease. With there being no cure for this disease, the debate will rage on as to whether or not a test like this does more harm than good. Personally, I wouldn’t want to know. I think it would leave me depressed and cause a decline in my general quality of life.

  3. This article was very interesting and kind of crazy to think that a simple blood test can make these predictions. While doctors may think it would be beneficial to do this blood test on patients so that they can find ways to prevent their death, I don’t think that the test should be involved in patient’s screening, unless otherwise requested. Personally, I wouldn’t want to know what my chance of death is. I think that many people have difficulty coming to terms with death and they don’t want to know when they are going to die. I feel that if people know they are going to die at a certain point, in changes their whole approach to life and how they live their own (maybe for the positive, maybe for the negative). Therefore, this test shouldn’t be a requirement but it could be an interesting option for those who want to know or are anxious about their future. There are positives and negatives to this test but I personally believe that it shouldn’t be mandatory or something that is done annually unless it is requested.

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