Article

Predicting mortality with biomarkers: a population-based prospective cohort study for elderly Costa Ricans.

Population Health Metrics (Impact Factor: 2.11). 06/2012; 10(1):11. DOI: 10.1186/1478-7954-10-11
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Little is known about adult health and mortality relationships outside high-income nations, partly because few datasets have contained biomarker data in representative populations. Our objective is to determine the prognostic value of biomarkers with respect to total and cardiovascular mortality in an elderly population of a middle-income country, as well as the extent to which they mediate the effects of age and sex on mortality. METHODS: This is a prospective population-based study in a nationally representative sample of elderly Costa Ricans. Baseline interviews occurred mostly in 2005 and mortality follow-up went through December 2010. Sample size after excluding observations with missing values: 2,313 individuals and 564 deaths. Main outcome: prospective death rate ratios for 22 baseline biomarkers, which were estimated with hazard regression models. RESULTS: Biomarkers significantly predict future death above and beyond demographic and self-reported health conditions. The studied biomarkers account for almost half of the effect of age on mortality. However, the sex gap in mortality became several times wider after controlling for biomarkers. The most powerful predictors were simple physical tests: handgrip strength, pulmonary peak flow, and walking speed. Three blood tests also predicted prospective mortality: C-reactive protein (CRP), glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS). Strikingly, high blood pressure (BP) and high total cholesterol showed little or no predictive power. Anthropometric measures also failed to show significant mortality effects. CONCLUSIONS: This study adds to the growing evidence that blood markers for CRP, HbA1c, and DHEAS, along with organ-specific functional reserve indicators (handgrip, walking speed, and pulmonary peak flow), are valuable tools for identifying vulnerable elderly. The results also highlight the need to better understand an anomaly noted previously in other settings: despite the continued medical focus on drugs for BP and cholesterol, high levels of BP and cholesterol have little predictive value of mortality in this elderly population.

0 Bookmarks
 · 
92 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To examine associations between three commonly used objective measures of physical capability assessed at age 53 and a composite score of these measures and all cause mortality; to investigate whether being unable to perform these tests is associated with mortality. Cohort study. MRC National Survey of Health and Development in England, Scotland, and Wales. 1355 men and 1411 women with data on physical capability at age 53 who were linked to the National Health Service (NHS) central register for death notification. All cause mortality between ages 53 (1999) and 66 (2012). For each of the three measures of physical capability (grip strength, chair rise speed, and standing balance time) those participants unable to perform the test and those in the lowest performing fifth were found to have higher mortality rates than those in the highest fifth. Adjustment for baseline covariates partially attenuated associations but in fully adjusted models the main associations remained. For example, the fully adjusted hazard ratio of all cause mortality for the lowest compared with the highest fifth of a composite score of physical capability was 3.68 (95% confidence interval 2.03 to 6.68). Those people who could not perform any of the tests had considerably higher rates of death compared with those people able to perform all three tests (8.40, 4.35 to 16.23). When a series of models including different combinations of the measures were compared by using likelihood ratio tests, all three measures of physical capability were found to improve model fit, and a model including all three measures produced the highest estimate of predictive ability (Harrell's C index 0.71, 95% confidence interval 0.65 to 0.77). There was some evidence that standing balance time was more strongly associated with mortality than the other two measures. Lower levels of physical capability at age 53 and inability to perform capability tests are associated with higher rates of mortality. Even at this relatively young age these measures identify groups of people who are less likely than others to achieve a long and healthy life.
    BMJ (online) 04/2014; 348:g2219. · 17.22 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Prediction of mortality has focused on disease and frailty, although antecedent biomarkers may herald broad physiological decline. Olfaction, an ancestral chemical system, is a strong candidate biomarker because it is linked to diverse physiological processes. We sought to determine if olfactory dysfunction is a harbinger of 5-year mortality in the National Social Life, Health and Aging Project [NSHAP], a nationally representative sample of older U.S. adults. 3,005 community-dwelling adults aged 57-85 were studied in 2005-6 (Wave 1) and their mortality determined in 2010-11 (Wave 2). Olfactory dysfunction, determined objectively at Wave 1, was used to estimate the odds of 5-year, all cause mortality via logistic regression, controlling for demographics and health factors. Mortality for anosmic older adults was four times that of normosmic individuals while hyposmic individuals had intermediate mortality (p<0.001), a "dose-dependent" effect present across the age range. In a comprehensive model that included potential confounding factors, anosmic older adults had over three times the odds of death compared to normosmic individuals (OR, 3.37 [95%CI 2.04, 5.57]), higher than and independent of known leading causes of death, and did not result from the following mechanisms: nutrition, cognitive function, mental health, smoking and alcohol abuse or frailty. Olfactory function is thus one of the strongest predictors of 5-year mortality and may serve as a bellwether for slowed cellular regeneration or as a marker of cumulative toxic environmental exposures. This finding provides clues for pinpointing an underlying mechanism related to a fundamental component of the aging process.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(10):e107541. · 3.53 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The proliferation of biosocial surveys has increased the importance of weighing the costs and benefits of adding biomarker collection to population-based surveys. A crucial question is whether biomarkers offer incremental value beyond self-reported measures, which are easier to collect and impose less respondent burden. We use longitudinal data from a nationally representative sample of older Taiwanese (n = 639, aged 54+ in 2000, examined in 2000 and 2006 with mortality follow-up through 2011) to address that question with respect to predicting all-cause mortality. A summary measure of biomarkers improves mortality prediction (as measured by the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve) compared with self-reports alone, but individual biomarkers perform better than the summary score. We find that incorporating change in biomarkers over a six-year period yields a small improvement in mortality prediction compared with one-time measurement. But, is the incremental value worth the costs?
    Population and Development Review 06/2014; 40(2):331-360. · 2.22 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

View
19 Downloads
Available from
May 22, 2014