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 (CBC) risk score, an inexpensive tool that uses all of the information in the common blood test.
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, reports Science Daily.
"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 a higher risk, as well as those 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," he added.