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Immunity and Ageing

, 13:27

First Online: 19 October 2016Received: 21 July 2016Accepted: 10 October 2016DOI: 10.1186-s12979-016-0082-z

Cite this article as: Van Epps, P., Oswald, D., Higgins, P.A. et al. Immun Ageing 2016 13: 27. doi:10.1186-s12979-016-0082-z


BackgroundUpregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines has not only been associated with increased morbidity and mortality in older adults but also has been linked to frailty. In the current study we aimed to compare the relative relationship of age and frailty on inflammation and thrombosis in older veterans.

ResultsWe analyzed 117 subjects age range 62–95 years; median 81 divided into 3 cohorts: non-frail, pre-frail and frail based on the Fried phenotype of frailty. Serum inflammatory markers were determined using commercially available ELISA kits. Frail and pre-frail PF subjects had higher levels than non-frail NF subjects of IL-6 NF vs. PF: p = 0.002; NF vs. F: p < 0.001, TNFR1 NF vs. F: p = 0.012, TNFRII NF vs. F: 0.002; NF vs. PF: p = 0.005 and inflammatory index: = 0.333*logIL-6 + 0.666*logsTNFR1 NF vs. F: p = 0.009; NF vs. PF: p < 0.001. Frailty status explained a greater percent of variability in markers of inflammation than age: IL-6 12 % vs. 0.3 %, TNFR1 5 % vs. 4 %, TNFR2 11 % vs. 6 %, inflammatory index 16 % vs. 8 %. Aging was significantly associated with higher fibrinogen p = 0.04 and D-dimer levels p = 0.01 but only among NF subjects.

ConclusionIn conclusion, these data suggest that among older veterans, frailty status has a stronger association with inflammation and the inflammatory index than age does. Larger studies, in more diverse populations are needed to confirm these findings.

KeywordsInflammatory index Cytokines Functional decline and coagulation AbbreviationsANOVAAnalysis of variance


CRPC reactive protein

EIAEnzyme immunoassay

ELISAEnzyme-linked immunosorbent assay



IP-10Interferon gamma-induced protein-10

LSCVAMCLouis Stokes Cleveland Veteran Affairs Medical Center

NADPHNicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate-oxidase


PAI-1Plasminogen activator inhibitor-1


SAASerum Amyloid A

TNFR1Tumor necrosis factor-α receptor 1

TNFR2Tumor necrosis factor-α receptor 2

TNF-αTumor necrosis factor-α.

The original version of this article was revised: the author S. Graventstein was written incorrectly and has been corrected to S. Gravenstein.

An erratum to this article is available at

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Autor: P. Van Epps - D. Oswald - P. A. Higgins - T. R. Hornick - H. Aung - R. E. Banks - B. M. Wilson - C. Burant - S. Grave


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