Serum high sensitivity C-reactive protein and cognitive function in elderly women.Age Ageing 2007; 36(4):443-8AA
Inflammation has been linked to cognitive impairment. However, limited data are available on the association between inflammatory markers and cognitive function.
We tested the hypothesis that elevated serum concentration of high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), an established marker of low-grade inflammation, predicts cognitive impairment in elderly women.
A 12-year population-based follow-up study.
A total of 97 women between 60 and 70 years of age at baseline.
Serum hs-CRP concentration was measured by a high sensitivity assay. Global cognitive function was measured with the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), and memory and cognitive speed were measured with a detailed cognitive test battery.
Higher baseline hs-CRP was associated with poorer memory at 12-year follow-up without adjustment and after adjustment for age, education and depression (standardised regression coefficient beta -0.842, 95% confidence interval -1.602 to -0.083, P = 0.030), and further adjustment for the use of hormone replacement therapy, smoking, serum LDL cholesterol and body mass index (standardised regression coefficient beta -0.817, 95% confidence interval -1.630 to -0.004, P = 0.049). Memory at 12-year follow-up worsened linearly with increasing hs-CRP at baseline (P = 0.048 for linear trend). There was no association between hs-CRP at baseline and cognitive speed or MMSE score at 12-year follow-up.
High serum hs-CRP concentration predicts poorer memory 12 years later in elderly women. Hs-CRP may be a useful biomarker to identify individuals at an increased risk for cognitive decline.