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Age Ageing. 2011 Jul;40(4):475-81. doi: 10.1093/ageing/afr047. Epub 2011 May 17.

IL-6-independent association of elevated serum neopterin levels with prevalent frailty in community-dwelling older adults.

Author information

1
Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Johns Hopkins Asthma and Allergy Center, Baltimore, MD 21224, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

neopterin is a monocyte/macrophage-derived immune activation marker and its levels increase with age. Frailty is an important clinical syndrome of old age. Previous studies have shown significant association between elevated interleukin-6 (IL-6) levels and frailty. The objective of this study was to evaluate IL-6-independent association of serum neopterin levels with prevalent frailty.

METHODS:

this is a cross-sectional study in community-dwelling older adults recruited from residential and retirement communities in Baltimore, MD, USA. Frailty was determined using validated screening criteria. Serum neopterin and IL-6 levels were measured using standard enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Pearson correlation and multivariate linear regression analysis was performed to assess the relationship between log(neopterin) and log(IL-6). Odds ratios (ORs) for frailty were calculated using log(neopterin) and log(IL-6) as continuous measures and across tertiles of neopterin and IL-6 levels, adjusting for age, race, sex, education and body mass index.

RESULTS:

one hundred and thirty-three individuals with a mean age of 84 years (range 72-97) completed the study. Neopterin levels were significantly higher in frail older adults than those in non-frail controls [median: 8.94 versus 8.35 nM, respectively, P < 0.001 t-test on log(neopterin)]. Log(neopterin) was significantly associated with prevalent frailty, adjusting for log(IL-6). Participants in the top tertile of neopterin had OR of 3.80 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.36-10.6, P < 0.01] for frailty. As expected, participants in the top tertile of IL-6 had OR of 3.29 (95% CI = 1.21-7.86, P < 0.05) for frailty. Log(neopterin) correlated with log(IL-6) (correlation coefficient = 0.19, P < 0.05). Moreover, OR for participants in the top neopterin tertile remained significant after adjusting for IL-6 (OR = 3.97, 95% CI = 1.15-13.72, P < 0.05).

CONCLUSION:

elevated neopterin levels had IL-6-independent association with prevalent frailty, suggesting potential monocyte/macrophage-mediated immune activation in the frail elderly.

PMID:
21586579
PMCID:
PMC3114624
DOI:
10.1093/ageing/afr047
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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