Immune cells are associated with mortality: the Health and Retirement Study.

TitleImmune cells are associated with mortality: the Health and Retirement Study.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsSeshadri, G, Vivek, S, Prizment, A, Crimmins, EM, Klopack, ET, Faul, J, Guan, W, Meier, HCS, Thyagarajan, B
JournalFrontiers in immunology
ISSN Number1664-3224
KeywordsAging, Humans, Immunosenescence, Inflammation, Retirement, T-Lymphocyte Subsets

INTRODUCTION: Age-related immunosenescence is characterized by changes in immune cell subsets and is associated with mortality. However, since immunosenescence is associated with other concurrent age-related changes such as inflammation and multi-organ dysfunction, it is unclear whether the association between age-related immunosenescence and mortality is independent of other concurrent age-related changes. To address these limitations, we evaluated the independent association between immune cell subsets and mortality after adjustment for age-related inflammation and biologic age.

METHODS: Data for this study was obtained from the 2016 interview of the Health and Retirement Study (N=6802). Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate the association between 25 immune cell subsets (11 T-cell subsets, 4 B-cell subsets, 3 monocyte subsets, 3 natural killer cell subsets, 3 dendritic cell subsets, and neutrophils) and 4-year mortality adjusting for covariates such as the Klemera-Doubal algorithm biological age, chronological age, gender, race/ethnicity, BMI, smoking status, comorbidity index, CMV seropositivity, and inflammatory latent variable comprising C-reactive protein, and 4 cytokines (interleukin-10, interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, interleukin-6, and soluble tumor necrosis factor).

RESULTS: Four hundred and seventy-six participants died during the study period with an overall median follow up time of 2.5 years. After controlling for covariates and adjustment for sample-weights, total T cells [HR: 0.86, p=0.004], NK CD56LO cells [HR: 0.88, p=0.005], and neutrophils [HR: 1.22, p=0.004] were significantly associated with mortality.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings support the idea that an aging immune system is associated with short-term mortality independent of age-related inflammation or other age-related measures of physiological dysfunction. If replicated in other external cohorts, these findings could identify novel targets for both monitoring and intervention to reduce the age-related mortality.

Citation Key13630
PubMed ID37928548
PubMed Central IDPMC10623116
Grant ListR01 AG060110 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
U01 AG009740 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States