The study has been carried out in collaboration between the Cleveland Clinic and the Cleveland University Hospital Medical Center whose specialists analyzed data from more than 31,000 participants obtained during 12 years as part of the national health survey. Study participants were representative of the adult population of the United States.
The research team was led by David Zidar, cardiologist and immunologist of the Medical Center, and Jarrod Dalton, epidemiologist at the Cleveland Clinic. The three factors they considered were lymphocyte counts, the range of red blood cell distribution, and C-reactive protein levels (CRP).
"The complete blood count test is convenient, economical and, as our findings suggest, can be used to help doctors detect and prevent disease and disease-related mortality," said lead study researcher Jarrod Dalton.
The investigation showed that the lymphopenia – a condition characterized by low levels of lymphocytes – is associated with death due to heart disease, cancer and respiratory infections, including influenza and pneumonia. The relationship between lymphocyte level and mortality does not depend on age or other clinical risk factors.
Lymphopenia is particularly dangerous when low levels of lymphocytes combine with other abnormal blood counts, such as erythrocyte distribution range which indicates the body's ability to generate and maintain a healthy population of erythrocytes and high levels of PCR As an indicator of inflammation.
Thus, doctors' findings suggest that a 65-year-old person with a high risk profile based on the three indicators mentioned above will be more likely to die sooner than a person who is a decade older and has a low profile. risk.
In the words of Dalton, lead author of the study, instead of looking for new markers to identify people at high risk of mortality, he and his colleagues "adopted a more pragmatic approach: investigate the predictive power of the white blood cell count components of a patient, which is obtained as part of routine blood tests during standard health tests. "