Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New study helps predict life expectancy using complete blood count risk score

Date:
November 19, 2013
Source:
Intermountain Medical Center
Summary:
For years, doctors have been divided on how effective annual testing and screenings are for apparently healthy individuals. New research, however, shows that a simple blood test may predict who is at highest risk to develop heart problems – and how long these people may have to live.

"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," said Dr. Horne.
Credit: Tim UR / Fotolia

For years, doctors have been divided on how effective annual testing and screenings are for apparently healthy individuals. New research, however, shows that a simple blood test may predict who is at highest risk to develop heart problems -- and how long these people may have to live.

Researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Murray, Utah, collaborated with scientists at Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston on the new study using the complete blood count risk score, an inexpensive tool that uses all of the information in the common blood test that includes information frequently underused.

Researchers will present this study at the 2013 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Dallas, on Nov. 19 at 5:45 pm, ET.

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, director of cardiovascular and genetic epidemiology at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute.

"Physicians can now provide better care using the CBC risk score as a standard method to assess whether patients may have future health problems that lead to death," he said.

"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," said Dr. Horne.

The new study used CBC lab testing information gathered as part of the JUPITER Trial, a randomized clinical trial of a cholesterol-lowering drug, Rosuvastatin, led by Harvard cardiologist Paul M. Ridker, MD.

The JUPITER study enrolled more than 17,000 individuals in 26 countries and followed them for up to five years. Participants in JUPITER had a clean slate free of cardiovascular disease normal low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol). but elevated C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation associated with cardiovascular disease.

When the Harvard team of researchers evaluated the Intermountain-derived CBC risk score among JUPITER trial participants, they found it to be a powerful tool to predict death.

Individuals in JUPITER with a lower CBC risk score were very unlikely to die, while those with CBC risk scores in the middle of the range had more than 50 percent higher risk of death. People with the highest CBC risk scores were about twice as likely to die as those with low scores, researchers found.

Whether physicians use this risk score, however, is a different story.

Most risk scores created in medicine are useful, but aren't used because they add time and complexity to gather the data and compute a risk score. The CBC risk score and its parent risk score, the Intermountain Risk Score (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 risk score while continuing to care for patients.

"We now have a standardized way of assessing the risk of mortality for all individuals, not just ones with a history of heart diseases," said Dr. Horne. "One of the beauties of this score is it uses clinically familiar, standardized medical information already in electronic format. The financial cost is also almost zero because most patients already receive the CBC test. The clinical cost is also low, because of electronic medical records. Physicians receive this critical information about future risk, which adds to their knowledge about the patient, while it takes very little of their time or effort to obtain the information."

To build on this research, Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute scientists have started a prospective randomized clinical trial in which clinicians receive the score electronically for half of the patients. This study is testing whether the knowledge of a patient's risk score aids physicians in personalizing medical care so that patient outcomes are improved. The next step among individuals similar to those in JUPITER is to perform a similar type of study in a non-hospitalized primary care population.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Intermountain Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Intermountain Medical Center. "New study helps predict life expectancy using complete blood count risk score." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119100931.htm>.
Intermountain Medical Center. (2013, November 19). New study helps predict life expectancy using complete blood count risk score. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119100931.htm
Intermountain Medical Center. "New study helps predict life expectancy using complete blood count risk score." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131119100931.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Peace Corps Pulls Workers From W. Africa Over Ebola Fears

Newsy (July 30, 2014) The Peace Corps is one of several U.S.-based organizations to pull workers out of West Africa because of the Ebola outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Weather Kills 2K A Year, But Storms Aren't The Main Offender

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Health officials say 2,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. due to weather, but it's excessive heat and cold that claim the most lives. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins