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Pro-inflammatory state: A hallmark of accelerated aging

Monday, September 22, 2014 — Poster Session II

4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

FAES Academic Center



* FARE Award Winner


  • L Ferrucci


Clinical and epidemiological studies have shown that aging is associated with a pro-inflammatory state even in persons who remain healthy. Such pro-inflammatory state revealed by elevated pro-inflammatory markers, such as interleukin-6, is a strong and independent risk factor for most diseases highly prevalent and predicts loss of independence and premature death. Hence, it has been suggested that a chronic inflammatory state should be considered a hallmark of accelerated aging. In a recent meta-analysis of the transcriptional profile of human aging, innate and adaptive immunity, cytokine and chemokine signaling were the most up-regulated pathways. In 1000 participants of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging, IL-6 was the stronger negative predictor of telomere length after adjusted for the proportion of PBMCs cell types and other confounders. We also found that IL-6 was a strong correlate of multi-morbidity, a condition that distinguishes of frail older patients, and predicted future increase in multi-morbidity. These findings suggest that a mild, chronic pro-inflammatory state is associated with high susceptibility to disease and functional decline in older persons. Studies are now designed to test the hypothesis that controlling chronic inflammation may improve health and prevent mobility loss in older persons.

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