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1.
Aging ; : 577-585, 2023.
Article in English | ScienceDirect | ID: covidwho-2041390

ABSTRACT

Immunosenescence and inflammaging are two fundamental age-related changes substantially paving the way to accelerated aging, multidimensional frailty, and poor outcomes of several illnesses including COVID-19. A common misbelief is that immunosenescence and inflammaging, like other age-related changes, are exclusively detrimental. However, they are inserted in a highly complex landscape of physiological changes occurring with increasing age at the biomolecular, organismal, psychosocial, and functional level. The understanding of this complex picture is fundamental to develop strategies aimed at maintaining robustness. Groundbreaking descriptions of frailty paved the way to successful interventions to maintain and restore robustness. To date, frailty is well established as the very core of geriatric medicine, going far beyond multimorbidity and chronological age.

2.
Journal of Clinical Investigation ; 132(14):1-12, 2022.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-1974003

ABSTRACT

Aging is characterized by the accumulation of damage to macromolecules and cell architecture that triggers a proinflammatory state in blood and solid tissues, termed inflammaging. Inflammaging has been implicated in the pathogenesis of many age-associated chronic diseases as well as loss of physical and cognitive function. The search for mechanisms that underlie inflammaging focused initially on the hallmarks of aging, but it is rapidly expanding in multiple directions. Here, we discuss the threads connecting cellular senescence and mitochondrial dysfunction to impaired mitophagy and DNA damage, which may act as a hub for inflammaging. We explore the emerging multi-omics efforts that aspire to define the complexity of inflammaging - and identify molecular signatures and novel targets for interventions aimed at counteracting excessive inflammation and its deleterious consequences while preserving the physiological immune response. Finally, we review the emerging evidence that inflammation is involved in brain aging and neurodegenerative diseases. Our goal is to broaden the research agenda for inflammaging with an eye on new therapeutic opportunities.

3.
Aging Clin Exp Res ; 34(6): 1463-1469, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1803227

ABSTRACT

Stress, social isolation, and changes in health behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic period may have a lasting influence on health. Here, the correlation between current or prior demographic, social and health related characteristics, including psychosocial factors with perceived impact of the COVID-19 pandemic assessed by questionnaire during the early pandemic period is evaluated among 770 participants of the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. In multinomial logistic regression models participants with higher pre-pandemic personal mastery, a construct related to self-efficacy, were more likely to report "both positive and negative" impact of the pandemic than a solely "negative" impact (OR: 2.17, 95% CI: 1.29-3.65). Higher perceived stress and frequent contact with family prior to the pandemic were also associated with pandemic impact. These observations highlight the relevance of psychosocial factors in the COVID-19 pandemic experience and identify characteristics that may inform interventions in future public health crises.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Aging , Baltimore/epidemiology , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Longitudinal Studies , Pandemics
4.
Ann N Y Acad Sci ; 1507(1): 70-83, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1673249

ABSTRACT

For many years, it was believed that the aging process was inevitable and that age-related diseases could not be prevented or reversed. The geroscience hypothesis, however, posits that aging is, in fact, malleable and, by targeting the hallmarks of biological aging, it is indeed possible to alleviate age-related diseases and dysfunction and extend longevity. This field of geroscience thus aims to prevent the development of multiple disorders with age, thereby extending healthspan, with the reduction of morbidity toward the end of life. Experts in the field have made remarkable advancements in understanding the mechanisms underlying biological aging and identified ways to target aging pathways using both novel agents and repurposed therapies. While geroscience researchers currently face significant barriers in bringing therapies through clinical development, proof-of-concept studies, as well as early-stage clinical trials, are underway to assess the feasibility of drug evaluation and lay a regulatory foundation for future FDA approvals in the future.


Subject(s)
Aging/genetics , Aging/metabolism , Congresses as Topic/trends , Longevity/physiology , Research Report , Autophagy/physiology , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/mortality , Cardiovascular Diseases/genetics , Cardiovascular Diseases/metabolism , Cardiovascular Diseases/therapy , Humans , Metabolomics/methods , Metabolomics/trends , Nervous System Diseases/genetics , Nervous System Diseases/metabolism , Nervous System Diseases/therapy , Stem Cell Transplantation/methods , Stem Cell Transplantation/trends
6.
Ageing Res Rev ; 69: 101351, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1220660

ABSTRACT

Untangling the interdependency of infections, immunity and frailty may help to clarify their roles in the maintenance of health in aging individuals, and the recent COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted such priority. In this scoping review we aimed to systematically collect the evidence on 1) the impact of common infections such as influenza, pneumonia and varicella zoster on frailty development, and 2) the role played by frailty in the response to immunization of older adults. Findings are discussed under a unifying framework to identify knowledge gaps and outline their clinical and public health implications to foster a healthier aging. Twenty-nine studies (113,863 participants) selected to answer the first question provided a moderately strong evidence of an association between infections and physical as well as cognitive decline - two essential dimensions of frailty. Thirteen studies (34,520 participants) investigating the second aim, showed that frailty was associated with an impaired immune response in older ages, likely due to immunosenescence. However, the paucity of studies, the absence of tools to predict vaccine efficacy, and the lack of studies investigating the efficacy of newer vaccines in presence of frailty, strongly limit the formulation of more personalized immunization strategies for older adults. The current evidence suggests that infections and frailty repeatedly cross each other pathophysiological paths and accelerate the aging process in a vicious circle. Such evidence opens to several considerations. First, the prevention of both conditions pass through a life course approach, which includes several individual and societal aspects. Second, the maintenance of a well-functioning immune system may be accomplished by preventing frailty, and vice versa. Third, increasing the adherence to immunization may delay the onset of frailty and maintain the immune system homeostasis, beyond preventing infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Frailty , Healthy Aging , Aged , Frailty/epidemiology , Humans , Middle Aged , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
7.
Ageing Res Rev ; 67: 101308, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1091952

ABSTRACT

Corona virus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a global emergency able to overwhelm the healthcare capacities worldwide and to affect the older generation especially. When addressing the pathophysiological mechanisms and clinical manifestations of COVID-19, it becomes evident that the disease targets pathways and domains affected by the main aging- and frailty-related pathophysiological changes. A closer analysis of the existing data supports a possible role of biological age rather than chronological age in the prognosis of COVID-19. There is a need for systematic, consequent action of identifying frail (not only older, not only multimorbid, not only symptomatic) persons at risk of poor outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Frailty , Aging , Frailty/diagnosis , Humans , Multimorbidity , SARS-CoV-2
8.
Geroscience ; 43(2): 619-627, 2021 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1064581

ABSTRACT

Levels of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2), the gateway for COVID-19 virus into the cells, have been implicated in worse COVID-19 outcomes associated with aging and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Data on age-associated differences in circulating ACE2 levels in humans and the role of CVD and medications is limited. We analyzed data from 967 participants of the InCHIANTI study, a community-dwelling cohort in the Chianti region, Italy. Relative abundance of ACE2 in plasma was assessed using a proteomics platform. CVD diagnoses, use of renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS) antagonists: ACEi, ARBs, and aldosterone antagonists, were ascertained. Multiple linear analyses were performed to examine the independent association of ACE2 with age, CVD, and RAAS antagonist use. Age was independently associated with lower log (ACE2) in persons aged ≥ 55 years (STD ß = - 0.12, p = 0.0002). ACEi treatment was also independently associated with significantly lower ACE2 levels, and ACE2 was inversely associated with weight, and positively associated with peripheral artery disease (PAD) status. There was a trend toward higher circulating ACE2 levels in hypertensive individuals, but it did not reach statistical significance. In a stratified analysis, the association between log (ACE2) and log (IL-6) was more evidenced in participants with PAD. Circulating ACE2 levels demonstrate curvilinear association with age, with older individuals beyond the sixth decade age having lower levels. ACEi was associated with greater circulating ACE2 levels. Interestingly, ACE2 was elevated in PAD and positively associated with inflammatory markers, suggesting compensatory upregulation in the setting of chronic inflammation. Further studies are needed to comprehensively characterize RAAS components with aging and disease, and assess its prognostic role in predicting COVID-19 outcomes.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Peptidyl-Dipeptidase A , Aged , Angiotensin Receptor Antagonists , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme 2 , Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors/therapeutic use , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
9.
J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci ; 76(3): e38-e45, 2021 02 25.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-939565

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: We evaluated whether frailty and multimorbidity predict in-hospital mortality in patients with COVID-19 beyond chronological age. METHOD: A total of 165 patients admitted from March 8th to April 17th, 2020, with COVID-19 in an acute geriatric ward in Italy were included. Predisease frailty was assessed with the Clinical Frailty Scale (CFS). Multimorbidity was defined as the co-occurrence of ≥2 diseases in the same patient. The hazard ratio (HR) of in-hospital mortality as a function of CFS score and number of chronic diseases in the whole population and in those aged 70+ years were calculated. RESULTS: Among the 165 patients, 112 were discharged, 11 were transferred to intensive care units, and 42 died. Patients who died were older (81.0 vs 65.2 years, p < .001), more frequently multimorbid (97.6 vs 52.8%; p < .001), and more likely frail (37.5 vs 4.1%; p < .001). Less than 2.0% of patients without multimorbidity and frailty, 28% of those with multimorbidity only, and 75% of those with both multimorbidity and frailty died. Each unitary increment in the CFS was associated with a higher risk of in-hospital death in the whole sample (HR = 1.3; 95% CI = 1.05-1.62) and in patients aged 70+ years (HR = 1.29; 95% CI = 1.04-1.62), whereas the number of chronic diseases was not significantly associated with higher risk of death. The CFS addition to age and sex increased mortality prediction by 9.4% in those aged 70+ years. CONCLUSIONS: Frailty identifies patients with COVID-19 at risk of in-hospital death independently of age. Multimorbidity contributes to prognosis because of the very low probability of death in its absence.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/mortality , Frail Elderly , Frailty/epidemiology , Hospital Mortality , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , COVID-19/epidemiology , Female , Geriatric Assessment , Humans , Italy/epidemiology , Male , Multimorbidity , Pandemics , Risk Factors , SARS-CoV-2
10.
Mech Ageing Dev ; 192: 111357, 2020 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-773414

ABSTRACT

There is a great deal of debate on the question of whether or not we know what ageing is (Ref. Cohen et al., 2020). Here, we consider what we believe to be the especially confused and confusing case of the ageing of the human immune system, commonly referred to as "immunosenescence". But what exactly is meant by this term? It has been used loosely in the literature, resulting in a certain degree of confusion as to its definition and implications. Here, we argue that only those differences in immune parameters between younger and older adults that are associated in some definitive manner with detrimental health outcomes and/or impaired survival prospects should be classed as indicators of immunosenescence in the strictest sense of the word, and that in humans we know remarkably little about their identity. Such biomarkers of immunosenescence may nonetheless indicate beneficial effects in other contexts, consistent with the notion of antagonistic pleiotropy. Identifying what could be true immunosenescence in this respect requires examining: (1) what appears to correlate with age, though generality across human populations is not yet confirmed; (2) what clearly is part of a suite of canonical changes in the immune system that happen with age; (3) which subset of those changes accelerates rather than slows aging; and (4) all changes, potentially population-specific, that accelerate agig. This remains an immense challenge. These questions acquire an added urgency in the current SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, given the clearly greater susceptibility of older adults to COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Immunosenescence , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Aged , Biomarkers , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/therapy , Humans , Middle Aged
11.
Immun Ageing ; 17: 23, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-727283

ABSTRACT

A central clinical question as the world deals with the COVID-19 pandemic is what the long-term sequelae for the millions of individuals will be who recover from the hyperinflammatory state characterizing COVID-19 and in particular for the hundreds of thousands who are ill enough to need hospitalization and in particular ICU care. Even when the pandemic is finally controlled, will COVID-19 survivors face exaggerated internal inflammatory processes, worsening co-morbidities, and increased susceptibility to age-related diseases? Clues for what may happen in post-COVID-19 patients can be elicited from those who recovered from other conditions that lead to similar hyperinflammatory states such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), acute respiratory disease syndrome (ARDS), cytokine storm syndrome, and post-ICU syndrome. The short-and long-term sequalae following recovery from each of these conditions suggests that these syndromes lead to an accelerated state of chronic subclinical systemic inflammation often seen in aging (termed inflammaging) resulting in increased and worsening age-related conditions including frailty even in younger individuals.

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