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Am J Epidemiol. 2010 Aug 15;172(4):363-71. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwq177. Epub 2010 Jul 21.

Cytomegalovirus antibody levels, inflammation, and mortality among elderly Latinos over 9 years of follow-up.

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Department of Epidemiology, 3659 SPH Tower, 109 Observatory, Ann Arbor, MI 48104-2548, USA.


This study examined the relation between immune response to cytomegalovirus (CMV) and all-cause and cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality, and possible mediating mechanisms. Data were derived from the Sacramento Area Latino Study on Aging, a population-based study of older Latinos (aged 60-101 years) in California followed in 1998-2008. CMV immunoglobulin G (IgG), tumor necrosis factor, and interleukin-6 were assayed from baseline blood draws. Data on all-cause and CVD mortality were abstracted from death certificates. Analyses included 1,468 of 1,789 participants. For individuals with CMV IgG antibody titers in the highest quartile compared with lower quartiles, fully adjusted models showed that all-cause mortality was 1.43 times (95% confidence interval: 1.14, 1.79) higher over 9 years. In fully adjusted models, the hazard of CVD mortality was also elevated (hazard ratio = 1.35, 95% confidence interval: 1.01, 1.80). A composite measure of tumor necrosis factor and interleukin-6 mediated a substantial proportion of the association between CMV and all-cause (18.9%, P < 0.001) and CVD (29.0%, P = 0.02) mortality. This study is the first known to show that high CMV IgG antibody levels are significantly related to mortality and that the relation is largely mediated by interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor. Further studies investigating methods for reducing IgG antibody response to CMV are warranted.

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