J Clin Med Res 2017 Jun 26;9(6):461-465. Epub 2017 Apr 26.
Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Patras, Greece.
Chronic inflammation is a well-established background process in many age-related diseases. Many recent studies investigate the use of various inflammatory biomarkers such as C-reactive protein (CRP), interleukin-6, and interleukin-1 as predictors of physical and cognitive performance among elders. The phenotype of frailty has also been associated with underlying inflammatory mechanisms. The aim of this article was to review the literature referring to the correlation of CRP serum levels and frailty in older individuals. We tried to identify all relevant publications regarding the relation of CRP as an index of frailty in the elderly and its potential use. Although many studies in the recent medical literature positively associate serum CRP levels and frailty in older individuals, some do not, and some raise some interesting questions and set the basis for future studies. The association of CRP and frailty in elder patients should be considered when clinicians interpret inflammatory biomarkers in various clinical settings in such patients. Well-designed, prospective clinical trials are warranted to better assess the role and pathophysiology of frailty in the elderly and its mechanisms as also the exact role of CRP as an inflammatory marker and as a prognostic index in this syndrome.