J Am Geriatr Soc 2017 Sep 22;65(9):1961-1968. Epub 2017 Jul 22.
Department of Aging and Geriatric Research, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.
Objectives: To test two interventions to reduce interleukin (IL)-6 levels, an indicator of low-grade chronic inflammation and an independent risk factor for impaired mobility and slow walking speed in older adults.
Design: The ENabling Reduction of low-Grade Inflammation in SEniors (ENRGISE) Pilot Study was a multicenter, double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized pilot trial of two interventions to reduce IL-6 levels.
Setting: Five university-based research centers.
Participants: Target enrollment was 300 men and women aged 70 and older with an average plasma IL-6 level between 2.5 and 30 pg/mL measured twice at least 1 week apart. Participants had low to moderate physical function, defined as self-reported difficulty walking one-quarter of a mile or climbing a flight of stairs and usual walk speed of less than 1 m/s on a 4-m usual-pace walk.
Intervention: Participants were randomized to losartan, omega-3 fish oil (ω-3), combined losartan and ω-3, or placebo. Randomization was stratified depending on eligibility for each group. A titration schedule was implemented to reach a dose that was safe and effective for IL-6 reduction. Maximal doses were 100 mg/d for losartan and 2.8 g/d for ω-3.
Measurements: IL-6, walking speed over 400 m, physical function (Short Physical Performance Battery), other inflammatory markers, safety, tolerability, frailty domains, and maximal leg strength were measured.
Results: Results from the ENRGISE Pilot Study will provide recruitment yields, feasibility, medication tolerance and adherence, and preliminary data to help justify a sample size for a more definitive randomized trial.
Conclusion: The ENRGISE Pilot Study will inform a larger subsequent trial that is expected to have important clinical and public health implications for the growing population of older adults with low-grade chronic inflammation and mobility limitations.