We aimed to investigate the association between baseline levels of total serum glutathione (tGSH) and rate of chronic disease accumulation over time. The study population (n = 2,596) was derived from a population-based longitudinal study on ≥60-year-olds living in Stockholm. Participants were clinically assessed at baseline, 3- and 6-year follow-ups. Multimorbidity was measured as the number of chronic conditions from a previously built list of 60 diseases. Linear mixed models were applied to analyze the association between baseline tGSH levels and the rate of multimorbidity development over 6 years. We found that at baseline, participants with ≥4 diseases had lower tGSH levels than participants with no chronic conditions (3.3 vs 3.6 µmol/L; p < .001). At follow-up, baseline levels of tGSH were inversely associated with the rate of multimorbidity development (β * time: -0.044, p < .001) after adjusting for age, sex, education, levels of serum creatinine, C-reactive protein, albumin, body mass index, smoking, and time of dropout or death. In conclusion, serum levels of tGSH are inversely associated with multimorbidity development; the association exists above and beyond the link between tGSH and specific chronic conditions. Our findings support the hypothesis that tGSH is a biomarker of multisystem dysregulation that eventually leads to multimorbidity.
Keywords: Biomarkers; Biogerontology; Epidemiology; Multimorbidity.
© The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Gerontological Society of America.