Monday February 24, 2020

Middle age chronic inflammation can increase frailty later

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middle age inflammation can lead to old age weakness
Johns Hopkins University, Pixabay

Chronic inflammation in middle age may be linked to an increased risk of frailty and overall poorer health decades later, a new study suggests.

Overall for the study sample, each standard deviation of higher inflammation recorded in mid-life yielded a 39 per cent higher odds of frailty approximately 24 years later, the researchers said.

The prevalence of frailty in later life among people who had low levels of inflammation throughout mid-life was four to five per cent.

Chronic inflammation in mid-life
Representational Image- Old age pain, wikimedia commons

However, the prevalence of later life frailty among adults with high levels of inflammation during mid-life was nine per cent — approximately double.

“Middle adulthood may be an especially important period for poor health in older adults for multiple reasons. First, it is in middle age when the incidence of common chronic diseases, such as diabetes, begins to accelerate,” said lead author Keenan Walker, from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

“Second, compared to individuals who develop systemic disease and inflammation in later life, individuals who develop these conditions in mid-life may have a longer exposure and therefore are more susceptible to deleterious physiological effects,” Walker added.

For the study, published in The Journal of Gerontology, the research team analysed data from 5,760 adults in their 70s.

The participant’s health has been followed over the course of five medical examinations, starting in 1987-1989, when they were in their 40s and 50s.

The fifth and most recent medical visit and evaluation occurred in 2011-2013.

The investigators specifically examined measures of five markers of inflammation in the bloodstream collected during participant’s initial study visits.

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Inflammatory biomarker levels were combined to create an inflammation composite score, which was used as a marker of each participant’s overall level of inflammation.

Next, all participants who completed the fifth visit were categorised as frail, pre-frail or robust depending upon how many of the following attributes they had at the time — exhaustion, slowness, low physical activity, weakness and weight loss.

Those deemed frail met three or more of these criteria, while those categorised as pre-frail met one or two of the criteria, and those categorised as robust met none of the criteria. (IANS)

 

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Find out How Optimism Can Help Reduce Stroke Severity

Optimism can reduce stroke severity, inflammation

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Optimism Stroke
Stroke survivors with high levels of optimism had lower inflammation levels, reduced stroke severity and less physical disability after three months. Pixabay

Researchers have found that stroke survivors with high levels of optimism had lower inflammation levels, reduced stroke severity and less physical disability after three months, compared to those who are less optimistic.

“Our results suggest that optimistic people have a better disease outcome, thus boosting morale may be an ideal way to improve mental health and recovery after a stroke,” said study senior author Yun-Ju Lai from University of Texas in the US.

In a small study of 49 stroke survivors, researchers examined the relationship among optimism, inflammation, stroke severity and physical disability for three months after an attack.

Researchers said that understanding how these elements relate to, or impact one another, may provide a scientific framework to develop new strategies for stroke recovery.

Optimism Stroke
Optimism has been associated with lower inflammation levels and improved health outcomes among people with medical conditions. Pixabay

Post-stroke inflammation is detrimental to the brain and impairs recovery, the researchers said.

Optimism has been associated with lower inflammation levels and improved health outcomes among people with medical conditions. However, no prior studies have assessed if this association exists among stroke patients.

This pilot study is a secondary analysis of data collected from a repository of neurological diseases.

Outcomes included optimism levels from the revised Life Orientation Test, a standard psychological tool for measuring optimism; stroke severity evaluation through the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale, and levels of inflammatory markers–interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFa) and C-reactive protein (CRP).

As optimism levels increased, stroke severity and the inflammatory markers IL-6 and CRP decreased even after considering other possible variables. However, this was not true of TNFa.

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“Patients and their families should know the importance of a positive environment that could benefit the patient, mental health does affect recovery after a stroke,” Lai said.

The study is scheduled to be presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference slated from February 18 to 21 in the US. (IANS)