Sarcopenia, obesity, and inflammation--results from the Trial of Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibition and Novel Cardiovascular Risk Factors study

M. Cesari, S.B. Kritchevsky, R.N. Baumgartner, H.H. Atkinson, B.W.J.H. Penninx, L. Lenchik, S.L. Palla, W.T. Ambrosius, R.P. Tracy, M. Pahor

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BACKGROUND: Age-related body-composition changes are associated with health-related outcomes in elders. This relation may be explained by inflammation and hemostatic abnormalities. OBJECTIVES: Our objectives were to evaluate the relation between body-composition measures [body mass index (BMI), total fat mass, and appendicular lean mass (aLM)] and C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin 6 (IL-6), and plasminogen activator inhibitor 1 (PAI-1) and to explore the effect of obesity and sarcopenia on CRP, IL-6, and PAI-1 concentrations. DESIGN: The data are from the Trial of Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Inhibition and Novel Cardiovascular Risk Factors (TRAIN) study baseline visit (n = 286; mean age = 66.0 y). Total fat mass and aLM were assessed with a dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan. Linear regressions were performed between body-composition measures and CRP, IL-6, or PAI-1 concentrations. The effect of sarcopenia and obesity (defined as the percentage of fat mass) on CRP, IL-6, and PAI-1 concentrations was evaluated with the use of analyses of covariance. RESULTS: CRP and IL-6 were positively associated with both BMI [beta = 0.027 (P = 0.03) and beta = 0.048 (P < 0.001), respectively] and total fat mass [beta = 0.049 (P < 0.001) and beta = 0.055 (P < 0.001), respectively] and were inversely associated with fat-adjusted aLM [beta = -0.629 (P = 0.002) and beta = -0.467 (P = 0.02), respectively]. PAI-1 was positively associated with both BMI (beta = 0.038, P = 0.005) and total fat mass (beta = 0.032, P = 0.007). No significant interaction was found between either obesity or sarcopenia and CRP, IL-6, and PAI-1 concentrations. Obesity remained significantly associated with high CRP and IL-6 concentrations after adjustments for sarcopenia. CONCLUSIONS: CRP and IL-6 are positively associated with total fat mass and negatively associated with aLM. Obesity-associated inflammation may play an important role in the age-related process that leads to sarcopenia. The relation of inflammation with sarcopenia was not independent of any of the considered obesity indexes
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-434
Number of pages7
JournalThe American journal of clinical nutrition
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2005


  • Aging
  • Fibrinolysis
  • Inflammation
  • Obesity
  • Sarcopenia
  • Skeletal muscle

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