Saturday September 21, 2019

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)

 

Next Story

Use of Oral Steroids Increases Risk of Infection in People with Inflammation

More than 27 per cent of patients were admitted to hospital and seven per cent died within a week of diagnosis of infection, said the study

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Beware, Gyms, Health Clubs
In an alarming trend, gymnasiums and health clubs across the country are providing youngsters with steroids. Pixabay

Researchers have found that oral steroid use in patients with inflammatory diseases significantly increases the risk of infection and the risk increases with higher doses.

The study, published in the journal CMAJ, picked over 40,000 adult patients with polymyalgia rheumatica or giant cell arteritis in England.

The researchers found higher risks of infection when patients were taking oral steroids than when they were not taking them.

“In periods with prescribed medication, patients’ risk was 50 per cent higher than when it was not prescribed, increases in risk ranged from 48 per for fungal to 70 per cent for bacterial infections,” said Mar Pujades-Rodriguez, from the University of Leeds in the UK.

heart-rate, inflammation
Higher levels of inflammation may in turn increase risk for heart diseases as well. (IANS)

Steroids included prednisolone, prednisone, hydrocortisone and cortisone. The risk of infection increased with higher doses and was elevated even with low daily doses of less than 5 mg of prednisolone.

According to the findings, more than half of the patients (22,234 or 56 per cent) had infections, with the most common being lower respiratory tract infections (27 per cent), conjunctivitis (nine per cent) and shingles (seven per cent).

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More than 27 per cent of patients were admitted to hospital and seven per cent died within a week of diagnosis of infection, said the study.

Patients and clinicians should be educated about the risk of infection, need for symptom identification, prompt treatment, timely vaccination and documentation of history of chronic infection, researchers said. (IANS)