Thursday, 12 December 2013

A lab test to predict life expectancy

Researchers at Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute show that a Complete Blood Count Risk Score, CBC may predict who is at highest risk to develop heart problems – and how long these people may have to live.

The complete blood count (CBC) is one of the most commonly ordered blood tests. A major portion of this test is the measure of the concentration of white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets in the blood. Physicians have used this CBC lab test for years, but they did not understand that all of its components provide information about life expectancy, according to lead researcher, Benjamin Horne, PhD.

A combination of the CBC lab test and the basic metabolic profile blood test developed by scientists at Intermountain Healthcare were created to provide useful health information to allow physicians to easily compute the patient risk score while continuing to care for patients.

Among apparently healthy individuals, this risk score can help physicians identify which patients have higher risk, as well as who they should focus further time and effort. The score also gives physicians excellent confidence in identifying low-risk individuals who don’t need as much attention or costly testing.

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