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J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2010 May;65(5):547-52. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glq030. Epub 2010 Mar 4.

Plasma Pentraxin 3, but not high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, is a useful inflammatory biomarker for predicting cognitive impairment in elderly hypertensive patients.

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Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Jichi Medical University School of Medicine, 3311-1 Yakushiji, Shimotsuke, Tochigi 329-0498, Japan.



Due to the increasing longevity of human populations worldwide, there is need of a useful biomarker for the early detection of cognitive impairment in elderly persons. Both high blood pressure (BP) and inflammatory processes have been reported to be involved in cognitive impairment via cerebrovascular atherosclerosis or neuronal cell damage.


In this cross-sectional study of 210 ambulatory elderly hypertensive patients without clinically evident dementia (mean age: 74 years; 44% men), we measured 24-hour BP, circulatory pentraxin 3 (PTX3) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) levels, and cognitive function (Mini-Mental State Examination [MMSE]).


A high plasma PTX3 level was observed in lean subjects, especially in those whose current body weight was lower than that measured 5 years earlier, whereas a high hs-CRP level was associated with obesity (all p < .05). Both PTX3 and hs-CRP levels were significantly associated with the MMSE score (r = -.248, p<0.001 and r = -.153, p<0.05, respectively); however, in multiple regression analysis, the PTX3 level, but not the hs-CRP level, was inversely associated with the MMSE score independently of patient demographics, glucose and lipid metabolic parameters, 24-hour systolic BP (SBP) level, and the atherosclerotic burden (all p < .05). Moreover, there was a significant interaction between the PTX3 and 24-hour SBP levels in the determinants of MMSE score (p < .05).


A high plasma PTX3 level in elderly hypertensive patients, particularly in those with a high 24-hour BP level, could be a significant predictor of cognitive impairment. A high PTX3 level may be a marker of frailty in elderly hypertensive patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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