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Am J Med. 2003 Oct 15;115(6):429-35.

Cytokines, insulin-like growth factor 1, sarcopenia, and mortality in very old community-dwelling men and women: the Framingham Heart Study.

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United States Department of Agriculture Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.



Aging is associated with increased production of catabolic cytokines, reduced circulating levels of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), and acceleration of sarcopenia (loss of muscle with age). We hypothesized that these factors are independently linked to mortality in community-dwelling older persons.


We examined the relation of all-cause mortality to peripheral blood mononuclear cell production of inflammatory cytokines (tumor necrosis factor alpha [TNF-alpha], interleukin 1 beta, interleukin 6), serum interleukin 6 and IGF-1, and fat-free mass and clinical status in 525 ambulatory, free-living participants in the Framingham Heart Study.


Of the 525 subjects (aged 72 to 92 years at baseline), 122 (23%) died during 4 years of follow-up. After adjusting for age, sex, comorbid conditions, smoking, and body mass index, mortality was associated with greater cellular production of TNF-alpha (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.27 per log(10) difference in ng/mL; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.00 to 1.61; P = 0.05) and higher serum interleukin 6 levels (HR = 1.30 per log(10) difference in pg/mL; 95% CI: 1.04 to 1.63]; P = 0.02), but not with higher serum IGF-1 levels (HR = 0.70 per log(10) difference in pg/mL; 95% CI: 0.49 to 0.99; P = 0.04). In a subset of 398 subjects (55 deaths) in whom change in fat-free mass index during the first 2 years was measured, less loss of fat-free mass and greater IGF-1 levels were associated with reduced mortality during the next 2 years.


Greater levels or production of the catabolic cytokines TNF-alpha and interleukin 6 are associated with increased mortality in community-dwelling elderly adults, whereas IGF-1 levels had the opposite effect.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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