Chronic Inflammatory Biomarker May Predict Mortality

Dr. Johannes Kettunen

Dr. Johannes Kettunen Interview with:
Dr. Johannes Kettunen
Computational Medicine, Institute of Health Sciences, University of Oulu
National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki
NMR Metabolomics Laboratory, School of Pharmacy,
University of Eastern Finland,
Kuopio Finland


Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Kettunen: The initial discovery of the mortality biomarkers was made 1.5 years ago when we published the first paper describing four biomarkers indicative of 5-year mortality in two cohorts totaling over 17 000 population based samples ( We wanted to understand the molecular background of the strongest mortality predictor and this is how the current study was started. Here,  The network was enriched with defense response genes and we had an idea to test if the biomarker was predictive of future severe infections. We were able to show that chronic inflammation creates extra stress to immune system and predisposes to future infections.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Kettunen: We still have a lot of work to do to find out whether there are possibilities to influence the risk indicated by the biomarker. If we can find such treatments then there is a possibility that the biomarker can be used to benefit patients.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Kettunen: We must find ways to reduce chronic inflammation as it predisposes to various adverse outcomes, including infections. The neutrophil gene network that we identified may provide therapeutic opportunities for reduction of chronic inflammation.


The biomarker GlycA is associated with chronic inflammation and predicts long-term risk of severe infection

Scott C. Ritchie Peter Würtz Artika P. Nath Gad Abraham Aki S. Havulinna Liam G. Fearnley Antti-Pekka Sarin Antti J. Kangas Pasi Soininen Kristiina Aalto Ilkka Seppälä Emma Raitoharj Marko Salmi Mikael Maksimow Satu Männistö Mika Kähönen Markus Juonala Samuli Ripatti Terho Lehtimäki Sirpa Jalkanen  Markus Perola  Olli Raitakari Veikko Salomaa Mika Ala-Korpela  Johannes Kettunen  Michael Inouye Co-senior author

Publication stage: In Press Corrected Proof


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Dr. Johannes Kettunen (2015). Chronic Inflammatory Biomarker May Predict Mortality