The role of peripheral inflammatory markers in dementia and Alzheimer's disease: a meta-analysis.
J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2013 Apr ;68(4):433-40. Epub 2012 Sep 14. PMID: 22982688
BACKGROUND: Studies that have investigated the association between markers of inflammation and risk of dementia are conflicting. Therefore, the researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies with the hypothesis that an increased level of peripheral proinflammatory markers would be associated with risk of all-cause dementia or Alzheimer's disease (AD).
METHODS: The researchers conducted a literature search of observational studies indexed in the PubMed and PsycInfo databases. Selected studies included those with at least one peripheral inflammatory biomarker and its association with risk of all-cause dementia or AD. Random effects models were used to generate pooled hazard ratios (HRs) comparing the top versus bottom quantile of inflammatory marker level. Heterogeneity was assessed using the I (2) statistic.
RESULTS: Seven studies were identified, combining for a total 5,717 participants, 746 cases of all-cause dementia and 565 cases of AD. An increased level of C-reactive protein was associated with a 45% increased risk of all-cause dementia (HR: 1.45; 95% CI: 1.10, 1.91). Similarly, a higher level of interleukin-6 was associated with a 32% increased risk (HR: 1.32; 95% CI: 1.06, 1.64) of all-cause dementia. For AD alone, the association with C-reactive protein was less pronounced (HR: 1.21; 95% CI: 1.03, 1.42) and interleukin-6 was not associated with risk of AD (HR: 1.06; 95% CI: 0.83, 1.35). No significant heterogeneity was found in any of the meta-analyses (I (2) = 0%-40%, p≥ .16).
CONCLUSIONS: An increased peripheral level of inflammatory markers is associated with a modest increase in risk of all-cause dementia. Evidence for an association with risk of AD alone is limited.