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Death test

Will you be alive in five years? New 'death test' may predict when you'll die

Thursday, March 06, 2014 by: Antonia
Tags: death test, biomarkers, lab tests

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(NaturalNews) If you're up in the air as to whether you should plan your big trip to Europe in a few years or plan your funeral instead, you'll find this story interesting.

An observational study that analyzed the blood samples of people five years after their blood was taken has produced some new findings. Casually referred to as the "death test," it's getting a lot of people talking. From sparking the "would you really want to know if you might die within the next five years?" debate to raising questions about how this could potentially affect the life insurance industry, one thing is clear: the study has opened researchers' eyes to four biomarkers that play a role in providing clues about our health and the possibility of dying from an illness in five years.

The study, published in PLOS Medicine, involved monitoring 17,000 people in Estonia and Finland for the course of five years, checking 106 proteins in their blood. Throughout those five years, 684 participants died. The blood of those who died was compared to the participants who lived, yielding results that researchers describe as "astonishing." Four biomarkers were found, all thought to be likely predictors of how much time we may have left on the planet.

The four biomarkers associated with mortality

The biomarkers identified were all lipids, metabolites and proteins in the blood. An index of these biomarkers was created and it was determined that people with a biomarker index in the top 20 percent were 19 times more likely to die within the five years after the blood samples were taken.

Interestingly, while these biomarkers were associated with a range of mortality types from cancer and cardiovascular disease, they may also predict death in healthy individuals too. In other words, they may provide insight about underlying conditions that all too often go unnoticed.

The four biomarkers are alpha-1-acid glycoprotein (associated with causing infections), albumin (responsible for carrying nutrients), very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) particle size ("bad cholesterol" particle size) and citrate (metabolism regulation).

What does this test really mean?

According to some published articles on this topic, feelings about this "death test" are mixed. One health website based in the UK sums it up very well: "At best, this type of test could encourage people to adapt a healthier lifestyle; at worst, it could lead to higher anxiety, higher risk-taking and a sense of fatalism." A reporter for the LA Times says a blood test like this should be thought of as an " . . . early effort to glean better ways to screen for and diagnose diseases, not to give notice that the Grim Reaper is stalking you."

As always, it's best to eat well (organic and whole foods whenever possible), get plenty of exercise and stay in the know about health topics.

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About the author:
A science enthusiast with a keen interest in health nutrition, Antonia has been intensely researching various dieting routines for several years now, weighing their highs and their lows, to bring readers the most interesting info and news in the field. While she is very excited about a high raw diet, she likes to keep a fair and balanced approach towards non-raw methods of food preparation as well. >>> Click here to see more by Antonia

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