Oxidative stress, genomic features and DNA repair in frail elderly: A systematic review

Ageing Res Rev. 2017 Aug:37:1-15. doi: 10.1016/j.arr.2017.05.001. Epub 2017 May 6.


Frailty is an emerging geriatric syndrome characterized by higher vulnerability to stressors, with an increased risk of adverse health outcomes such as mortality, morbidity, disability, hospitalization, and institutionalization. Although it is generally recognized to have a biological basis, no particular biological trait has been consistently associated to frailty status so far. In this work, epidemiological studies evaluating association of frailty status with alterations at cellular level - namely oxidative stress, genomic instability and DNA damage and repair biomarkers -were revised and compared. A total of 25 studies fulfilled inclusion/exclusion criteria and, consequently, were included in the review. Variations of oxidative stress biomarkers were often associated to frailty status in older people. On the contrary, genomic instability seems not to be linked to frailty. The only study which addressed the possible relationship between DNA repair modulations and frailty status also failed in finding association. Despite the large number of cellular alterations known to be associated with frailty, studies on this issue are still very scarce and limited to some of the possible cellular targets. The established link between DNA repair, genomic instability, and age and age-related disorders, encourage deeper investigations on this line.

Keywords: Cellular biomarkers; DNA repair; Elderly; Frailty; Genomic instability; Oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • DNA Repair*
  • Epidemiologic Studies
  • Frail Elderly*
  • Genomic Instability*
  • Genomics
  • Humans
  • Institutionalization
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Phenotype


  • Biomarkers