Jarrod Dalton, MD and David Zidar, MD of @CleClinicMD discuss lymphopenia associated with death due to heart disease, cancer and respiratory infections, including influenza and pneumonia.
A new collaborative study led by Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals has found that commonly used clinical indicators of immune status and inflammation can predict mortality in the general population.
Published in JAMA Network Open, the study showed that lymphopenia (a condition characterized by low levels of a specific type of white blood cell, called lymphocytes) is associated with death due to heart disease, cancer and respiratory infections, including influenza and pneumonia. This relationship between lymphocyte levels and mortality was observed independent of age, other blood-based immune markers and clinical risk factors.
The research team was led by David Zidar, M.D., Ph.D., an interventional cardiologist and immunologist at UH Cleveland Medical Center and the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veteran Affairs Medical Center and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and Jarrod Dalton, Ph.D., epidemiologist in Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute.
“Scientists have gone to great lengths and expense to develop novel biomarkers to identify people at the highest risk for death and disease,” said Dalton, senior author on the study. “Here we have taken a more pragmatic approach – investigating the predictive power of components of a patient’s white blood cell count, which is collected as part of routine blood work during standard health exams. The complete blood count test is convenient, inexpensive and, as our findings suggest, may be used to help physicians screen for and prevent disease and disease-related mortality.”