22 August 2019
Press release
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Biomarker measurement in blood helps estimate vulnerability of elderly people

Researchers specialized in aging have found a combination of biomarkers in the blood that can help to estimate the health status and vulnerability of elderly people. Their measurement gave consistent results for men and women over the age of 60 in five European countries. This study, published in Nature Communications, was led by the Leiden University Medical Center and made possible through an international collaboration between biobanks, BBMRI-NL and the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Aging.

The scientists searched the blood of 44.168 people for biomarkers that say something about the life expectancy of elderly people. A large proportion of those people were over sixty years old. After an extensive analysis, they compiled a set of 14 biomarkers that, when combined, provide a good insight of life expectancy during the next 5 to 10 years in the participants' lives. The set of biomarkers contains different amino acids, ‘good’ and ‘bad’ cholesterol levels, the balance of fatty acids and inflammatory parameters. According to the researchers, the test is easy to perform and affordable when you work with a large database of people. This means the test can be used in population and clinical research projects that are currently running.

Tieneke Schaaij-Visser, Program Manager at BBMRI-NL, says: “The BBMRI-NL consortium is very proud of this extraordinary collaboration. Our goal is to maximize the use of biosamples, images and data for health research and this study is a great example of what can be achieved.”

Read the (Dutch) press release from LUMC here

Read the article ‘A metabolic profile of all-cause mortality risk identified in an observational study of 44,168 individuals’  in Nature Communications here