November 17, 2022

A marker for mortality

A urine biomarker of inflammation was associated with increased mortality and multiple lifestyle factors, suggesting that modifications could help reduce premature mortality.

Prostaglandins are inflammatory mediators that can contribute to many chronic diseases. PGE-M, a prostaglandin metabolite that can be measured in urine, is reflective of prostaglandin production in the body. 

Wanqing Wen, MD, MPH, and colleagues conducted a study to determine associations of urinary PGE-M levels with mortality in 2,927 noncancerous adults in the Shanghai Women’s Health Study and Shanghai Men’s Health Study, two ongoing prospective cohort studies conducted in Shanghai, China. 

The researchers discovered that higher urinary PGE-M levels were significantly associated with a higher risk of mortality as well as cardiometabolic disease-related deaths. Of note, PGE-M levels were also increased in adults with a low education level, heavy smoking, obesity as measured by a waist-hip ratio, and old age.  

This study, published in Scientific Reports, highlights the association of increased inflammatory responses, as measured by a urinary metabolite, with increased mortality and with multiple modifiable lifestyle factors. Decreasing prostaglandin overproduction through lifestyle modifications could help reduce premature mortality, the researchers concluded.

The paper’s co-authors were Gong Yang, MD, MPH, Qiuyin Cai, MD, PhD, Xiao-Ou Shu, MD, PhD, and Wei Zheng, MD, PhD, MPH.

This work was supported by the National Institutes of Health (CA182910, CA173650, CA090949, CA122364).