Ageing, tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and atherosclerosis.


Ageing is associated with increased inflammatory activity in the blood. The purpose of this study was to investigate if age-related increased plasma levels of TNF-alpha were associated with atherosclerosis in a cohort of 130 humans aged 81 years. The elderly cohort had increased circulating levels of TNF-alpha, C-reactive protein (CRP), total cholesterol (TC), low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and a low high-density lipoprotein (HDL)/TC ratio compared with a young control group (n = 44). The elderly cohort was divided by tertiles into three subgroups with low, intermediate, and high levels of TNF-alpha, respectively. In the group with high TNF-alpha concentrations a significantly larger proportion had clinical diagnoses of atherosclerosis. Furthermore, weak correlations were found between TNF-alpha on one hand and blood concentrations of triglycerides, leucocytes, CRP and a low HDL/TC ratio on the other which are known as risk factors of atherogenesis and thromboembolic complications. No correlations were found between TNF-alpha, TC, LDL, or the body mass index. In conclusion, the present study shows that in a cohort of 81-year-old humans, high levels of TNF-alpha in the blood were associated with a high prevalence of atherosclerosis.

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@article{Bruunsgaard2000AgeingTN, title={Ageing, tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and atherosclerosis.}, author={Helle Bruunsgaard and Peter Skinh\oj and Agnes Nadelmann Pedersen and Marianne Schroll and Bente Klarlund Pedersen}, journal={Clinical and experimental immunology}, year={2000}, volume={121 2}, pages={255-60} }