Chlamydia pneumoniae seropositivity and cardiovascular risk factors: The InCHIANTI study

Pierluigi Blanc, Anna Maria Corsi, Andrea Gabbuti, Cecilia Peduzzi, Francesca Meacci, Fabiola Olivieri, Fulvio Lauretani, Mazzotta Francesco, Luigi Ferrucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: To assess the prevalence of Chlamydia pneumoniae (CP) seropositivity and test the hypothesis that CP infection (CPI) is associated with cardiovascular (CV) risk factors and levels of inflammatory biomarkers. DESIGN: Cross-sectional survey. SETTING: Representative sample of the residents of Greve in Chianti and Bagno a Ripoli, two small towns located in the Chianti geographic area (Tuscany, Italy). PARTICIPANTS: A total of 1,304 (age-range: 20-103, 79% aged ≥65) participants of the InCHIANTI study. MEASUREMENTS: CP seropositivity was assessed using immunofluorescence. Previous CPI was defined as immunoglobulin (Ig) G ≥1/16 and <1/256, and recent CPI was defined as IgG ≥ 1/512 or IgM ≥ 1/16. Inflammatory markers included interleukin (IL)-6, soluble IL-6 receptor (sIL-6r), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), IL-1β, IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra), iron, ferritin, and C-reactive protein (CRP). CV risk factors included smoking, body mass index (BMI), lipid profile, and hypertension. RESULTS: The prevalence of CP seropositivity was 75%, increased with age, and was higher in men than in women (P <.01). CPI was not associated with IL-1β, IL-1ra, iron, ferritin, CRP, BMI, lipids, and smoking. After adjusting for age and sex, previous or recent CPI was associated with higher TNF-á (P <.01), IL-6 (P <.03), sIL-6R (P <.01), and hypertension (P <.02). In additional age and sex-adjusted models, the associations between CPI and TNF-α, IL-6, sIL-6r, and hypertension appeared to be mutually independent. CONCLUSION: CP seropositivity is highly prevalent in the older population and is a significant, independent correlate of hypertension and circulating levels of TNF-α, IL-6, and sIL-6r.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1626-1631
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Chlamydia pneumoniae
  • Cytokines
  • Elderly
  • Inflammation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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