Inflammation and stroke: the Leiden 85-Plus Study

E van Exel, J Gussekloo, A J M de Craen, A Bootsma-van der Wiel, M Frölich, R G J Westendorp

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140 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Experimental evidence indicates that interleukin-10 (IL-10) deficiency is associated with the development of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease. We analyzed the relation between low IL-10 production levels, history of stroke, and incident fatal stroke.

SUMMARY OF REPORT: All 85-year-old inhabitants of Leiden, Netherlands (n=599) were visited at their place of residence (response rate, 87%). Production levels of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 were assessed in a whole blood assay whereby lipopolysaccharide was used as a stimulus. Plasma concentrations of C-reactive protein (CRP) were also used as a marker of inflammation. A history of stroke was obtained at baseline (prevalence, 10%). The number of fatal strokes was prospectively obtained for a median follow-up of 2.6 years (incidence, 1.82 per 100 person-years at risk). Subjects with a history of stroke had significantly lower median IL-10 production levels at baseline than subjects without stroke (558 versus 764 pg/mL; P<0.05). They also had significantly higher median CRP concentrations (6 versus 3 mg/L; P<0.05). The odds ratio for a history of stroke increased to 2.30 (95% CI, 1.12 to 4.72) over strata representing decreasing production levels of IL-10. The relative risk for incident fatal stroke was 2.94 (95% CI, 1.01 to 8.53) when we compared subjects with low or intermediate baseline IL-10 production levels to those with high production levels of IL-10.

CONCLUSIONS: Our data support the hypothesis that subjects with low IL-10 production levels have an increased risk of stroke.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1135-8
Number of pages4
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2002


  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • C-Reactive Protein/analysis
  • Causality
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Inflammation/blood
  • Interleukin-10/blood
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Netherlands/epidemiology
  • Odds Ratio
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk
  • Risk Assessment
  • Stroke/blood
  • Survival Analysis
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/analysis

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