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PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e58050. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0058050. Epub 2013 Mar 4.

Predictive value of a profile of routine blood measurements on mortality in older persons in the general population: the Leiden 85-plus Study.

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Department of Public Health and Primary Care, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, the Netherlands.



Various questionnaires and performance tests predict mortality in older people. However, most are heterogeneous, laborious and a validated consensus index is not available yet. Since most older people are regularly monitored by laboratory tests, we compared the predictive value of a profile of seven routine laboratory measurements on mortality in older persons in the general population with other predictors of mortality; gait speed and disability in instrumental activities of daily living (IADL).


Within the Leiden 85-plus Study, a prospective population-based study, we followed 562 participants aged 85 years for mortality over five years. At baseline (age 85 years) high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, albumin, alanine transaminase, hemoglobin, creatinin clearance, C-reactive protein and homocysteine were measured. Participants were stratified based on their number of laboratory abnormalities (0, 1, 2-4 and 5-7). The predictive capacity was compared with gait speed (6-meter walking test) and disability in IADL (Groningen Activity Restriction Scale) by C-statistics. At baseline, 418 (74%) 85-year old participants had at least one laboratory abnormality. All cause mortality risk increased with increasing number of laboratory abnormalities to a hazard ratio of 5.64 [95% CI 3.49-9.12] for those with 5-7 laboratory abnormalities (p<0.001) compared to those without abnormalities. The c-statistic was 0.66 [95% CI 0.59-0.69], similar to that of gait speed and disability in IADL.


In the general population of oldest old, the number of abnormalities in seven routine laboratory measurements predicts five-year mortality as accurately as gait speed and IADL disability.

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