Onset of Organ Failure Linked To Heightened Risk Of Mortality, Study Shows

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Stanford Medicine scientists unveil a groundbreaking blood test predicting organ failure onset. The innovative method gauges organ aging rates, unveiling risks like Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and heart disease. Shockingly, 20% of healthy adults aged 50+ exhibit accelerated aging in one organ.

Individuals with fast aging organs at risk of mortality

According to the research, individuals with rapidly aging organs face a higher risk of mortality, ranging from 15% to 50% over the next 15 years, depending on the specific organ affected. The team intends to leverage this prediction to proactively treat patients before any symptoms of illness appear, aiming to prevent organ failure altogether.

Professor Tony Wyss-Coray from Stanford Medicine explains that by estimating the biological age of an organ in a seemingly healthy individual, it is possible to predict their risk for organ-related diseases. Biomarker-based assessments have provided a single number representing an individual’s biological age, which differs from their chronological age. This distinction allows for a more accurate understanding of age-related health risks.

Approximately 18.4% of individuals aged 50 or older exhibit accelerated aging in at least one organ, increasing their susceptibility to organ-specific diseases within the next 15 years when compared to a broader population of healthy individuals.

Accelerated heart aging linked to hear failure risk

Researchers examined blood protein levels in 5,678 individuals, identifying organ-specific protein activity. Employing an algorithm, they predicted organ biological ages, contrasting them with actual ages. Discrepancies between predicted and actual organ ages correlated with a heightened 15-year mortality risk from diverse causes. Notably, accelerated heart aging was linked to a 2.5 times greater risk of heart failure compared to normally aging hearts.

Individuals with “older” brains faced a 1.8 times greater risk of cognitive decline over a five-year period compared to those with “younger” brains. The accelerated aging observed in the brain or vasculature was found to be as effective as current clinical biomarkers in predicting the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, swift aging in the heart and kidneys proved valuable in forecasting conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, atrial fibrillation, and heart attacks.

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