OBJECTIVES: To determine the effects of a long‐term exercise intervention on two prominent biomarkers of inflammation (C‐reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin‐6 (IL‐6)) in elderly men and women. DESIGN: Single‐blind, randomized, controlled trial: The Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders (LIFE) Trial. SETTING: The Cooper Institute, Dallas, Texas; Stanford University, Stanford, California; University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; and Wake Forest University, Winston‐Salem, North Carolina. PARTICIPANTS: Four hundred twenty‐four elderly (aged 70–89), nondisabled, community‐dwelling men and women at risk for physical disability. INTERVENTION: A 12‐month moderate‐intensity physical activity (PA) intervention and a successful aging (SA) health education intervention. MEASUREMENTS: CRP and IL‐6. RESULTS: After adjustment for baseline IL‐6, sex, clinic site, diabetes mellitus, treatment group, visit, and group‐by‐visit interaction, the PA intervention resulted in a lower (P=.02) IL‐6 concentration than the SA intervention. Adjusted mean IL‐6 at month 12 was 8.5% (0.21 pg/mL) higher in the SA than the PA group. There were no significant differences in CRP between the groups at 12 months (P=.09). Marginally significant interaction effects of the PA intervention according to baseline functional status (P=.05) and IL‐6 (above vs below the median; P=.06) were observed. There was a greater effect of the PA intervention on participants with lower functional status and those with a higher baseline IL‐6. CONCLUSION: Greater PA results in lower systemic concentrations of IL‐6 in elderly individuals, and this benefit is most pronounced in individuals at the greatest risk for disability and subsequent loss of independence.
Journal of American Geriatrics Society – Wiley
Published: Nov 1, 2008
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