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Low-grade systemic inflammation connects aging, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease

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Posted February 1, 2015
This news or article is intended for readers with certain scientific or professional knowledge in the field.

Aging is associated with immunosenescence and accompanied by a chronic inflammatory state which contributes to metabolic syndrome, diabetes and their cardiovascular consequences.

Risk factors for cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and diabetes overlap, leading to the hypothesis that both share an inflammatory basis. Obesity is increased in the elderly population, and adipose tissue induces a state of systemic inflammation partially induced by adipokines.

The liver plays a pivotal role in the metabolism of nutrients and exhibits alterations in the expression of genes associated with inflammation, cellular stress and fibrosis. Hepatic steatosis and its related inflammatory state (steatohepatitis) are the main hepatic complications of obesity and metabolic diseases. Aging-linked declines in expression and activity of endoplasmic reticulum molecular chaperones and folding enzymes compromise proper protein folding and the adaptive response of the unfolded protein response.

These changes predispose aged individuals to CVDs. CVDs and endothelial dysfunction are characterized by a chronic alteration of inflammatory function and markers of inflammation and the innate immune response, including C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, TNF-α, and several cell adhesion molecules are linked to the occurrence of myocardial infarction and stroke in healthy elderly populations and patients with metabolic diseases.

Source: Interdiscip Top Gerontol. 2015;40:99-106. doi: 10.1159/000364934.

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