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Pubmed ID: 34139296
Publication Date: 2021/06/15

Inflammatory cytokines and appetite in older hospitalized patients.

It has already been confirmed that the decline in appetite during disease is a common issue and the biologic players of inflammation such as cytokines may serve as mediators of this effect. This study aimed to investigate the association of appetite with individual cytokines that could be involved in the inflammation-associated loss of appetite in acutely ill older hospitalized patients. 191 patients (mean age 81.3 ± 6.6 years, 64% women) participated in this prospective observational study. Risk of malnutrition and patient's appetite were evaluated using the Mini Nutritional Assessment Short Form and the Simplified Nutritional Appetite Questionnaire on admission, respectively. Serum C-reactive protein (CRP) and serum cytokines such as Interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β), IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, IL-12p70, IL-17, IL-18, IL-23 and IL-33, interferon alpha-2, interferon gamma, tumor necrosis factor alpha and monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) were measured. Of total population, 30% had CRP>3.0 (mg/dL), 31% were malnourished and 31% demonstrated poor and very poor appetite. There were significant differences in the mean concentrations of a number of cytokines including IL-1β, MCP-1, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12p70, IL-18 and IL-23 across the appetite scores. In a regression analysis, an increased IL-18 level (P = 0.049) was the most prominent biomarker for poor appetite. No other significant associations between appetite and circulating levels of other cytokines were found in the regression analysis, except for IL-6 and IL-33, which were only significantly associated in the unadjusted model. The association of IL-18 with decreased appetite was independent from the severity of CRP-level and infections. In this study, certain cytokines, in particular IL-18 were associated with poor appetite in acutely diseased patients and should therefore be considered as a potential target of the prevention and treatment of malnutrition.
Authors: Pourhassan Maryam , Babel Nina , Sieske Lars , Westhoff Timm Henning , Wirth Rainer ,


  1. [Last access 2021/06/15].

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