Background: The goal was to establish a system for assessing molecular age (MA) based on common biomarkers of aging, disease, and end-of-life processes for assessing the development of chronic diseases at the molecular level.
Methods: Routine clinical laboratory indexes, including biochemical lab tests and complete blood count, were used as common biomarkers in end-of-life patients, who underwent treatment at the intensive care unit (ICU) of a hospital and died within one month. Biomarkers that were significantly different both between the patients and the controls and between the young and elderly groups could be used for the establishment of a MA index at the molecular level.
Results: Only albumin (ALB) was suitable as an index of MA. MA score could be obtained by using survival probability as dependent variable and using age and Alb as independent variable. MA score was 0.02Alb - 0.01age + 0.45. MA score was presented as the value of survival probability. MA score was < 0.5 in 94.3% of the ICU patients with chronic disease. For normal individuals an MA score < 0.5 was found in 5.1%. The percentage of patients an MA score < 0.50 was considerably higher in cancer, COPD, and cardiocerebrovascular diseases groups than in the elderly group, although the chronological age of elderly group was similar with the diseases groups.
Conclusions: When considering death, the MA score is suitable for assessing the prechronic disease and health status at the molecular level and could provide a simple and effective tool for the early diagnosis and management of chronic conditions.