Austrian researchers analyse millions of health data to predict future health risks

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-4-10 11:37:07

Researchers from the Medical University of Vienna in Austria analysed the health data of millions of Austrians in order to be able to accurately predict future health risks, Austria Press Agency reported Thursday.

The researchers from the Institute for Science of Complex Systems at the University cooperated with the Federation of Austrian Social Security Institutions to analyze all sicknesses, disorders, medical treatments, and diagnoses from general practitioners, specialists, and hospitals that occurred in the Austrian population in the years 2006 and 2007.

They were then able to create a mathematical model which gave the likelihood of future risk of disease or illness in various segments of the population, including based on age and sex.

A 45-year-old suffering from diabetes, for instance, is three times more likely to suffer from dementia later in life, and 10 times more likely to suffer from high blood pressure.

As part of the project, which the researchers said was the first of its kind in the world, a total of 1,642 diseases were examined, with the identities of patients remaining anonymous.

Researcher Stefan Thurner said "sickness demographics" for Austria could quite accurately be read from the results. As a result preventative measures or possible complications previously not thought of could be taken into account by physicians in future.

In a joint study with the Gender Medicine Unit at the University the researchers also identified 100 "disease pairs," well-known and lesser-known diseases that often appear to have a link, including a controversial one between diabetes and Parkinson's disease.

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