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Clinical Trial
. 2004 Oct;52(10):1708-12.
doi: 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2004.52465.x.

Risk Factors Relating Blood Markers of Inflammation and Nutritional Status to Survival in Cachectic Geriatric Patients in a Randomized Clinical Trial

Affiliations
Clinical Trial

Risk Factors Relating Blood Markers of Inflammation and Nutritional Status to Survival in Cachectic Geriatric Patients in a Randomized Clinical Trial

Shing-shing Yeh et al. J Am Geriatr Soc. .

Abstract

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of proinflammatory cytokines, their receptors, and nutritional indicators (at baseline and after 12 weeks of megestrol acetate (MA) treatment) upon long-term survival in geriatric cachectic patients without active acute infections, inflammation, or cancer.

Design: Randomized clinical trial with placebo or MA treatment for 12 weeks and then follow-up for more than 4 years.

Setting: Veterans Affairs nursing home in Northport, New York.

Participants: Nursing home patients with weight loss of 5% of usual body weight over the previous 3 months or body weight 20% below ideal body weight.

Intervention: Random assignment of placebo or MA oral suspension 800 mg/d to the eligible patients for 12 weeks.

Measurements: White blood cell counts, prealbumin, plasma cytokine levels (or their receptors), including tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR), soluble subunits (TNFR-p55 and TNFR-p75), interleukin (IL)-6, soluble IL-2 receptor, and C-reactive protein at baseline and 12 weeks after treatment.

Results: There was no difference in survival between the MA and placebo groups. Considering possible confounders, initial IL-6, initial TNFR-p75 levels, and final neutrophil percentage were associated with elevated mortality, whereas higher initial prealbumin, initial albumin, final prealbumin, final albumin, and final weight gain were associated with decreased death.

Conclusion: In geriatric weight-loss patients with cachexia, certain cytokines and nutritional indicators were effective in predicting long-term mortality, regardless of treatment with MA. Interventions to modify levels of these cytokines or their receptors and improvement in nutritional status by weight gain might be helpful in ameliorating undetected chronic inflammation and thus might prolong the survival of these nursing home residents.

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